Graham Rahal carried over his impressive form from the last round of A1GP's inaugural campaign in China sixth months ago, as he made his seasonal debut at Brno in the Czech Republic last weekend.

The son of Indianapolis 500 legend Bobby, Rahal lined up on the seventh row for the rolling start of the short ten-lap sprint race, and the rush down to the first corner gave the 17-year-old - one of the youngest drivers in the field - the opportunity to make up a place to 11th. He was pushed back down to 12th by Team Netherlands a few laps later, but would then retain the position to the chequered flag.

In the feature race Rahal took the standing start from 12th on the grid, and though he slipped back a couple of places at the start he had recovered to 13th by the time of his pit-stop.

Exiting the pits after the second-fastest stop of the day, Rahal boldly moved alongside the rival Team Switzerland car which was also leaving the pits after its stop, and overtook the Swiss machine for 12th as he rejoined the track. Crossing the line in the same position, the Champ Car Atlantic Series ace showed he can race hard and, with a little more experience, be a top ten contender.

"In the sprint race I made a good start, but running three abreast with Britain and Brazil through the first few corners, I ended up dropping back," he explained afterwards. "As the race went on the car went loose, which grained the front tyre and made it tough.

"The feature race was also very challenging. We didn't have a good start in that one, but made up positions later. Without contact with South Africa we would have been in the top ten.

"We had the pace of the leaders and were able to be consistent which is encouraging. The boys gave me an awesome pit-stop as well. I reckon they're the best in the field."

"Graham has shown he can race hard and consistently, and has proved he has the pace to run with the lead pack," added Team Lebanon team principal Tony Snook, pleased by the progress of his young charge. "We do need to qualify better though; it has such an impact on the rest of the weekend.

"Having missed Zandvoort he's two races behind the rest of the field, so he needs more time in the car to catch up, but I know that he'll be getting into the top ten before too long. We're growing as a team and Graham is part of that development, so I'm confident that we'll continue to progress as the season unfolds."

 

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