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 Cars Interviews

 Jean Pierre Nasrallah
 

  Off track since 2004 and yet his name still echoes in our memory…….

Jean Pierre Nasrallah, a name profoundly sculpted in the Lebanese motorsport history became a tag for speed driving talent and technique. Winner and leader of several races, holder of numerous titles, Jean Pierre Nasrallah is ready to get back on the track ……….

BatoAutoMoto had the opportunity to meet Mr. Nasrallah and discuss with him, here is what he had to say:

Jean Pierre Nasrallah has been off track since 2004 and yet his name still echoes in the racing field. What is the secret?

Several achievements; you always remember the leader, the winner, that’s what stays in the memory. So I guess holding titles for several years and leading in a considerable number of races left a trace in the fans’ memories.

How did you start your racing career?

Actually, my father used to participate in races every once in a while and I used to accompany him.  I decided back then that I would follow the steps of my father. That’s what I did indeed.

Did you encounter any opposition from your family?

 

Not at all, being a driver himself, my father was a big support. As to my mother, she is French and the French mentality differs from the Lebanese one. In France when you go out driving it is never something risky due to the rules and safety measurements available on the roads. So the concept is different and the idea of me racing was welcomed.

How did you prepare to become a rally driver?

 

I attended two driving schools in France where I acquired the basics. I came back to Lebanon and started applying the technique on the track.

How can you compare the period in which you were a participant to the “ambiance” nowadays?

When I first participated in races, motorsports was at its peak in Lebanon. The media coverage during that period was considerably important. The show part was really worked on. Therefore it was in the best interest of potential sponsors to invest in motorsports. Nowadays it is different and therefore sponsors less available which makes it harder on participants.

 

What makes a good rally driver?

Passion helps a lot and experience is necessary but talent stays the key word. Talent is not something you can acquire, you are born with it and you develop it. In my opinion that’s what differentiates a driver from the other.

 

What was the reason for your resignation in 2004?

 I wouldn’t say “resign” for the moment! I used to race on a group A (WRC) car. When the organizers decided to disregard this category and accept only group N cars I did not enjoy driving in these new conditions after a trial in 2004, so I stopped.

 

Can we hope to see Jean Pierre Nasrallah back on the track?

Actually, the introduction of the S2000 which is a 4WD atmospheric engine and the new group N regulation which is lightly similar to previous group A cars attracted my attention. I would think seriously about going back on the track if the adequate car and sponsor would be available.

Is your every day job related to cars or driving is just a side hobby?

I changed several jobs in my life, some were indirectly related to cars; I am working on a new business concept in automotive industry. I will be joining my passion to the experience I have with cars. We will talk about it later in details. In addition, I have a driving school for safety and race training. (www.jpnasrallah.com)

Can you tell us more about the driving school?

Usually it is a one session for safety training and a second one for race training. I offer the sessions myself. We also offer co-drivers sessions. Trainings are performed on our cars, certificates are also given.

 

At last Could you enjoy race driving without winning?

I am a fighter until the end. That’s how I won several races and the Rally of Lebanon in 1997 with 1 second difference between me and the second. You have to aim for winning or else you are neither a leader nor a champion.

Lebanese HillClimb Champion

1985, 1986, 1987, 1993, 1994 & 1995

 

Lebanese Rally Champion

1994 & 1995

 

 

 
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