Shanghai: Team Malaysia Sunday notes

BEST RESULT OF SEASON FOR MALAYSIA A1 Team Malaysia produced their best result of the season in today's Sprint race at the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, Shanghai, China. A strong fourth place finish preceded a sixth place in the main Feature...

BEST RESULT OF SEASON FOR MALAYSIA

A1 Team Malaysia produced their best result of the season in today's Sprint race at the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, Shanghai, China. A strong fourth place finish preceded a sixth place in the main Feature race for Malaysia with Alex Yoong driving the nation's car.

The customary first lap drama of A1GP began immediately the green flag dropped for the rolling start, with the USA and New Zealand cars clashing on the main straight while Yoong was challenging for position and battling with arch-rival Narain Karthikeyan in the Team India car. A superb move on Karthikeyan put the Malaysian car up to fourth place before the first lap had been completed. From that point onwards Yoong held position, determined to defend from the bulk of the field behind him.

With a strong race pace he comfortably held off the Indian car behind. Portugal, the team ahead of Yoong, had been one of the quickest cars all weekend and was one of the few that Yoong could not match on pace. Although closing on Portugal as the race progressed he was unable to get past him, finishing fourth at the chequered flag.

It was a clean start for the grid off the starting line for the Feature race, with Yoong racing hard to the first corner from his sixth place start. Jostling with the cars around him Yoong maintained his grid slot after the opening lap. With championship contender New Zealand breathing down his neck, Yoong needed all his wits to keep defending his position while also trying to challenge India ahead. With both cars making their first pitstop on the same lap it was a close match in times for the crews to change the tyres, but New Zealand just pipped the Malaysian car to take away sixth place. However Malaysia then took India to reclaim the spot.

As the race headed to mid distance the pace settled with the field strung out and Yoong running a few seconds behind New Zealand. The second stop saw the leading teams pit early in the 'window' for the tyre changes. Yoong was amongst these and the crew gave him a quick change of rubber to put him back on the track without losing position. The remainder of the race passed without incident, with the Malaysia car crossing the line in sixth place.

Yoong said of the races, "It's great to have two good finishes. The sprint race was a good start to the day and I'm pleased we were able to make a pass on India to snatch fourth as we were reasonably competitive. The feature race gave us another good result although I was struggling with understeer whereas this morning it had been oversteer, but that just shows the fine balance that is needed to get the best out of the car. After the second pitstop we dropped the tyre pressures and the car was very strong with some very strong lap times, so I was hoping for a safety car to bunch every one up -- I think I would have had a good shot at taking another place or two. Overall it has been a good weekend for us."

Jack Cunningham, Chief Executive of the team, added, "We've seen the results today that have eluded us for much of this season and it's given us a very big boost as we head to the final round of this season. We had two strong finishes with strong teamwork in the pitstops and great reliability as well. When all the ingredients come together, the results come to us as they have done this weekend. I hope we carry this momentum through to the final round in the UK."

The final round of the 2007/08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, the third season of the Series, takes place at Brands Hatch in Kent, UK, from 2-4 May 2008.

-credit: team.my

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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Narain Karthikeyan , Alex Yoong , Jack Cunningham