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 Cars Interviews Roger Feghali
"Passion, talent and technic
   He has got it all...."June 2010

 

Passion, talent and technique …….He has got it all…..

 

Seven times winner of the Lebanese rally championship, winner of several international races, holder of all Lebanese rally titles, Roger Feghali  is a big Lebanese achiever. Behind the steering wheel it is the thrill of speeding that transports him to the climax…………

 

In spite of his busy active schedule Mr. Roger Feghali was kind enough to receive BatoAutoMoto at his MOTORTUNE workshop  In Hazmieh , and over a cup of a delicious espresso he told us the story about a 12 year old boy who fell in love ……….and who is still falling in love with race cars.

 

 

 

 

-Who would you say is Roger Feghali?

A real ordinary person with several achievements.

-Is this ordinary person different from the rally champion?

In the world of sports I can differentiate between true sports fanatics and those who are in the field just for the prestige and showoff part of it. The latter might play a double role in his life. As to myself it is when I am behind the steering wheel , driving, that I am in the ultimate satisfaction moment in my life no matter if I win or lose. My life revolves around speeding, I try my best to be well prepared and I do aim for winning but the driving part is my real passion so Roger the champion never adds anything to my character.

-At  what age did you start feeling the passion for cars and speed? How did it develop?

Actually, my father was in the mechanics business and his workshop was near our house. I grew up in this environment, but it was at the age of 12 that a dormant feeling woke up in me. It was so strong that I immediately saw my life heading in this direction. The decision on the inside was already taken then. I will become a rally driver one day and I will be doing my best to get there.

-Did you encounter any problem with your family when you first decided to start racing?

A lot of pressure from my father who tried in every possible way to stop me. But I guess in the end he realized that this was a final decision so he gave up. As to my wife now, she supports me dearly in every way  but never bares the idea to watch me race.

-When did you participate in your first race and which car were you driving?

That was in 1996 during the Spring rally in Lebanon. I was racing on a Golf ll rented from Ghassan Khoury Motorsports.

-How did you prepare to become a rally driver ? Did you attend a driving school prior to racing?

Actually I went to a driving school in Norway  five years after I started racing and after wining four times the Lebanese rally championship. I guess  talent is the key.

-Can you make a good rally driver out of any ordinary person?

You can teach a person the technique of driving but you can never give him a strong heart and the will to fight . The talent and passion and endurance has to be there.

-Is there any physical fitness required from a rally driver?

High cardiovascular endurance is a must. Naturally, there is no considerable physical activity inside the car but the driver undergoes severe conditions in certain stages . Eating healthy, maintaining an adequate weight and exercising are essential. Building energy reserves from a proper diet right before a rally is also important.

-How do you prepare for a rally? What are the things to be taken care of?

Being the engineer and owner of MOTORTUNE where my racing car is tuned as well as several other cars that might be competing in the same race, this puts some pressure on me. So not only I have to take care of getting myself in shape but in getting all the racing cars ready too.In addition, a week ahead of the rally , my co-pilote and I start getting familiar with the track on which we will be racing and we finalize all the car settings.

-Which of the rally cars that you have driven so far is your favorite?

The Lancia Integral. Although It is not the fastest car but has evolved rapidly until it became one of the best in 1992. I had the chance to drive it and my first international victory was on a Lancia.

-Among your several achievements which is the most memorable one?

It is one of the rallies in Lebanon in 2001. Although I did not end up the race due to a car problem. I competed hardly and very closely with Piero Liatti who was the #2 world champion. It was then when I knew where my standard was and this gave me a push forward.

-Who is your ideal rally driver?

Colin McRae.Every time I watch him race I am impressed .

-What is your schedule for 2010?

I finished Jordan rally last week in first place and will compete in two more rallies in Jordan in the coming season. Of course I will participate in the lebanese rally championship as well. I might also compete in WRC  Cyprus rally at the end of the year.

-At last, would you see your son race driving in the future?

If he decides he wants to go for it , I will encourage him in every way.

 

 

       
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