A1 TEAM MALAYSIA QUALIFIES NINTH OF 25
Brands Hatch, England- 24 September 2005- A1 Team Malaysia with Alex Yoong at the wheel qualified ninth of 25 national teams on the second day of the inaugural race weekend of the new A1 Grand Prix at Brands Hatch today.
The unique A1 Grand Prix qualifying format requires drivers to make four 'flying laps', within four sessions of 15 minute qualifying segments, with the best two times aggregated to produce the overall qualifying position. Yoong posted four consistent lap times, with his aggregate time less than one second over a flying lap off the pace of pole sitter, Brazil.
Yoong summed up his day saying, "I'm pretty satisfied. I took a couple of runs to dial myself into the car and the conditions and, for sure, we could have done better. But it's the first race of the season; the boys have done a great job preparing the car, and ninth spot isn't a bad place to be in; it's a good starting position. I think we have the pace to run in the top five and I'm really looking forward to tomorrow."
In a twist to the traditional motor racing format, nominated drivers who did not participate in the qualifying session can race if they have posted an official practice time within 102% of his team mate's fastest qualifying time. Under this rule, A1 Team Malaysia has selected Fairuz Fauzy to drive the A1 racing car for the Sprint race and Yoong for the Feature race in order that both nominated national drivers capitalize on accumulating race mileage in the inaugural round.
Fairuz comments, "I'm very over the moon and am very proud to be given the chance to be representing Malaysia in the first race of the A1 Grand Prix season. I enjoyed my practice session this morning and look forward to racing hard tomorrow and bringing home a good result for our country."
The Sprint race will be contested over 50 miles lasting up to 30 minutes in duration. With a rolling start format instead of a standing start at 13.30 BST (20.30h Malaysian Time), tomorrow's race will be run over 18 laps of the Grand Prix circuit at Brands Hatch. The outcome of the race determines the grid position of the Feature race which will start at 15.00 BST (22.00h Malaysian Time) with a standing start. The Feature race will be run over 100 miles (36 laps) lasting up to 60 minutes in duration.
A1 Grand Prix is a new, unique concept in international motor racing, with the 12 race series featuring 25 national teams competing on an equal basis, racing identical cars with no electronic driver aids, leading to performance being determined by human bravery, skill and excellence. The Series will travel across five continents through the winter months, with visits including Europe, Asia, Australia in Oceania, South Africa representing America, and the USA representing the Americas.