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 ……….
had the opportunity to meet Mr. Nasrallah and discuss with
him, here is what he had to say:
Nasrallah has been off track since 2004 and yet his name
still echoes in the racing field. What is the secret?
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?
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
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?
two driving schools in France where I acquired the basics. I
came back to Lebanon and started applying the technique on
How can you
compare the period in which you were a participant to the
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
What makes a
good rally driver?
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?
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?
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.
every day job related to cars or driving is just a side
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
Can you tell
us more about the driving school?
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.
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.
1985, 1986, 1987, 1993,
1994 & 1995
Lebanese Rally Champion
1994 & 1995