TOP TEN QUALIFYING SPOT FOR A1 TEAM MALAYISA IN ZANDVOORT Zandvoort, the Netherlands, 30 September 2006 A1 Team Malaysia will start in tenth place for the Sprint Race at the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, Zandvoort tomorrow. In bright...
TOP TEN QUALIFYING SPOT FOR A1 TEAM MALAYISA IN ZANDVOORT
Zandvoort, the Netherlands, 30 September 2006
A1 Team Malaysia will start in tenth place for the Sprint Race at the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, Zandvoort tomorrow.
In bright sunshine the A1GP cars took to the track in the morning for final practice before the afternoon qualifying session. The one hour session was the final opportunity for teams to refine their car set up and prepare for the race.
Yoong was quickly on to the track to take advantage of the practice time and to work with his engineers to improve the car's performance. He ran comfortably in the top ten as the team worked through a planned programme, looking for the extra tenths that can make the difference between a top grid position and a middle of the pack start. The team opted to stay on older tyres for much of the session while other nations used new ones to set quick laps, finishing the hour with 13th fastest lap time.
In afternoon qualifying Yoong had a late run in the first of the four segments, the unique format employed by A1GP to determine the grid, in which the team's best two times are aggregated and this sets the position for the Sprint race.
The majority of teams have two sets of new tyres and the pattern of using them varies, with some opting to use them in the final two segments, other teams running early with these. A1 Team Malaysia elected to run with new tyres in the final two segments. Yoong was lying ninth of the 23 car field after the first segment. Backing this up with another solid lap, Yoong was 10th at the midway point, and in his final two segments, and he maintained this pace to finish 10th quickest overall.
Yoong said after qualifying, "We had a bit of understeer this morning, but managed to scrape into the top ten. We had a bit of traffic on our last run and had to overtake two cars which cost us time. There's a few places where we were losing time and we'll look at this before the race. I think we have a good race car for tomorrow."
Jack Cunningham, Chief Executive, A1 Team Malaysia, added, "The team has done a great job to get into the top ten for this first race. We haven't had the luxury of a rookie to do the system checks and preparation that other teams have done, as we do not yet have any young Malaysians eligible to take on these duties. We also had a new engine which required an installation programme and we had to devote most of our first practice session to this.
Bearing in mind these factors, Alex and the team have done a great job and have made up this lost time. If we'd been able to do much of this work in the rookie session, we could have made further progress with the car development, but in the circumstances, I congratulate Team Malaysia for their efforts. Tomorrow is the important day, when we need to turn this hard work into results and I know everyone will be focused on this goal."
Pole position for the Sprint race tomorrow was taken by A1 Team South Africa with the Mexican team in second place and Team France lining up third.
The Zandvoort A1GP races will take place tomorrow, the first of 12 events on the calendar for this second season. The grid is set from qualifying for the 20 minute Sprint race, the first of two races, with the main Feature race running for 70 minutes and including a mandatory tyre change pitstop. The grid for this race is set from an amalgamation of points drawn from the Sprint race start postion, finish position and fastest lap time.