Sepang: Team Malaysia race report

A1 TEAM MALAYSIA JOINT 3rd IN A1GP WORLD CUP OF MOTORSPORT A1 Team Malaysia gave their home crowd one of the most exciting races of the A1GP season so far, with a storming drive by Alex Yoong which saw him finish seventh in an action-filled ...

A1 TEAM MALAYSIA JOINT 3rd IN A1GP WORLD CUP OF MOTORSPORT

A1 Team Malaysia gave their home crowd one of the most exciting races of the A1GP season so far, with a storming drive by Alex Yoong which saw him finish seventh in an action-filled Feature race. Yoong had finished fourth in the earlier Sprint race and the points from the two events resulted in A1 Team Malaysia improving to joint third in the overall A1GP World Cup of Motorsport standings.

In the Sprint race, held in dry, humid conditions, Yoong used his extensive circuit knowledge to dice with the field as they headed down to the first corner and was able to gain three spots by the end of the first lap. He withstood pressure from the British car and eventually finishing the 10 lap race over a second ahead of the fifth placed car. This fourth place finish gave A1 Team Malaysia its second row grid slot for the Feature race.

Prior to the Feature race, the unpredictable weather featured in the teams' preparations with a spectacular thunderstorm arriving as the cars lined up for the grid. Quickly switching to wet tyres and adjusting the cars suspension and wings settings for the conditions, A1 Team Malaysia were ready for 70 minutes of hard racing.

The appalling weather conditions resulted in the green flag being taken under safety car conditions and after three laps the cars were released to race at full speed. Yoong held position for the first few laps, but was then lacking in grip and unable to hold off the challengers behind. The team opted to pit earlier than intended and by changing the tyre pressures were able to improve the car's performance.

The team's pitstop was delayed by a recalcitrant wheelnut which pushed Yoong back to 14th on his return to the track. Over the remainder of the race, Yoong drove superbly, overtaking five cars in the space of seven laps. Recovering to seventh place by the chequered flag, Yoong notched up second fastest lap of the race -- and the fastest one on wet tyres.

Yoong reflected on his races saying, "It was really a tale of two halves. In the first half we were really struggling with grip and I think the tyre pressures were higher than we expected. Teams were just going by me and I wasn't able to hold them back. We decided to pit earlier than planned; we lowered the tyre pressures and suddenly the grip was there. I was able to overtake and drive hard. If we'd had the same grip in the first half as the second I think we could have won it.

"In the Sprint race the first three drivers were just in a different league and after making up places to fourth I wasn't able to improve in the remaining laps."

Jack Cunningham, Chief Executive, A1 Team Malaysia, praised the team saying, "We recovered well by the end of the two races today. It was not easy to collect the points today, but moving up to third in the overall championship standings shows that we have the consistency and strength within this team to be title challengers."

The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport heads for the final trio of Asian races, with the event taking place at Sentul Circuit in Indonesia in two weeks time, 8 -- 10 December.

-credit: www.a1teammalaysia.com.my

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Series A1GP
Drivers Alex Yoong , Jack Cunningham