A1 Team Malaysia began their assault on the 2007/08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport in Zandvoort today, at the opening round of the third season of the Series with driver Alex Yoong, Malaysia qualified in 20th place for tomorrow's Sprint race and...
A1 Team Malaysia began their assault on the 2007/08 A1GP World Cup of Motorsport in Zandvoort today, at the opening round of the third season of the Series with driver Alex Yoong, Malaysia qualified in 20th place for tomorrow's Sprint race and 20th place for the Feature race, at the conclusion of running at the Netherlands circuit.
This season opener, compacted into two days of racing, began today with two practice sessions in the morning and qualifying in the afternoon. The practice sessions were used by the team to begin their preparations for the races, with technical tasks undertaken in the first of these, before the engineers and Yoong worked to improve the performance of the car. Both sessions produced uncharacteristically lower grid lap times for the Malaysian team, but during the break before the qualifying session, by reviewing the data and analysing the team's performance, setup developments were made to improve the handling of the car.
A1GP afternoon qualifying took a new direction today; the four segment 'flying lap' format remains, but the best lap time from the first two segments are used to set the grid for the Sprint race and the best lap time from the third and fourth segments set the grid for the Feature race.
In the first segment Yoong was on his 'out' lap when a red flag flew for an on-track collision between the USA and Australia cars. He was forced to return to the pits, but was allowed to go back on track for a flying lap. Finishing 16th quickest after this, the team dropped to 20th after the second segment, to line up in this position for the Sprint race.
The third and fourth segments also produced unsatisfactory results for the Malaysian team, resulting in a 20th place grid slot for the Feature race.
Yoong said after the qualifying session, "It's been a very unsatisfactory day as we haven't been on the pace and we just need to go back to the drawing board, check the car and find the problems. It's not the start that we had hoped for, but we'll put our fullest efforts into it tomorrow and we should be able to put some points on the board for Malaysia."
Jack Cunningham, Chief Executive, A1 Team Malaysia, added, "We're very sure that there is a fundamental problem with the car, so we'll strip the car, review all the data and do all that we can to produce a better car to represent our nation tomorrow. As I'm sure you'll know, this is uncharacteristic for us, so we're confident that we can locate the problem and resolve it with a return to form in the races tomorrow. Of course, starting from so far back gives the team a very big task, but we'll aim for a strong points finish in both races. It is a challenge within our grasp."