Zandvoort: Basil Shaaban preview

Shaaban aims to complete unfinished business as F3 Euro series rolls on to Holland Arab driver hopes German detour can help him master Dutch circuit Dubai, UAE, 9 July, 2008: Basil Shaaban aims to complete some unfinished business in ...

Shaaban aims to complete unfinished business as F3 Euro series rolls on to Holland

Arab driver hopes German detour can help him master Dutch circuit

Dubai, UAE, 9 July, 2008: Basil Shaaban aims to complete some unfinished business in Holland at the weekend after taking a detour in Germany to boost his challenge in the F3 Euro Series.

Shaaban, the only Arab driver contesting the world's toughest F3 motor racing series, is relishing the challenge ahead at Zandvoort where he will be aiming for a best finish of the 2008 season in his Shell Dallara Mercedes.

To help him master the famous Dutch circuit after two consecutive street race meetings at Pau and Norisring, Shaaban has undergone a day of testing at Germany's Oschersleben circuit this week (Tuesday) and now heads for Holland full of optimism.

"After Pau and Norisring we're returning to a multi-varied permanent circuit and needed to make some developments to the car to help us close the gap to the top teams," he said. "Like Zandvoort, Oschersleben has a variety of corner-speeds, so we took the opportunity to go there to test several new parts and setups for the next phase of the championship.

"We also focused on finalising the brake-pad specification for the rest of the season. I've been jumping from one compound to another recently because of problems with my preferred brake-pad's temperature range on the street circuits. We hope we've now found something that will work for all of the circuits we'll be visiting over the next few months."

One of Europe's great historic circuits, Zandvoort presents its own particular set of challenges, and Shaaban is ready for another thorough examination of his driving skills.

"I have unfinished business at Zandvoort from last season, with several areas that I can't wait to improve on, especially my speed in the high-speed middle sector of the circuit," he said.

"The famous Scheivlak corner has a blind entry over a dune-hill, dropping down steeply to the right into its apex and is taken at over 200 km/h. Everywhere else on the circuit I'm ready to take my performance to the next level, and I'm very excited to tackle the circuit's many challenges this year."

The Lebanese driver, who was raised in Abu Dhabi, adds: "The blend of slow-speed, medium-speed and high-speed corners, with the undulations and camber-changes over and between the sand-dunes, creates a wonderful technical playground for driver and engineer alike.

"The fact that we are right by the beach with sand being blown onto the circuit also means the grip-levels are constantly changing, and the weather is also very unpredictable so you have to be ready for anything."

"With only one hour of practice on Friday morning before the afternoon qualifying session, I'm determined to make the most of the limited time I'll have to secure a good position on the starting grid for the first race on Saturday. "

-credit: Total Communications

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About this article
Series F3 Europe
Drivers Basil Shaaban