THE END OF A DIFFICULT WEEKEND FOR A1 TEAM MALAYSIA A1 Team Malaysia was disappointed with the opening round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, with the team struggling to find the form of the previous season in Zandvoort this weekend. A 16th...
THE END OF A DIFFICULT WEEKEND FOR A1 TEAM MALAYSIA
A1 Team Malaysia was disappointed with the opening round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, with the team struggling to find the form of the previous season in Zandvoort this weekend. A 16th place finish in the Sprint race was a small consolation from the previous day's lack of pace in qualifying, but a mechanical failure early in the main Feature race resulted in retirement for the team, while lying in 14th place.
The rolling start for the Sprint race heralded the new season's battle for national honour. Yoong had his work cut out to make headway through the field and in a frantic start, took the opportunity to make a move on his rivals. Lying 17th after the opening lap, he then made a copybook pass on the Chinese car. He remained in 16th position, pushing hard behind the Czech car. The short 12 lap race gave the Malaysian little time to improve on his position and he crossed the line in 16th at the chequered flag.
A competitive run in the Feature race was short lived for Malaysia. After only ten laps of racing Yoong had to pit with a mechanical problem. The team worked hard in an effort to return to the track, but realised that there would be insufficient time to make the necessary repairs. With great reluctance the team had to accept retirement from the race.
Alex Yoong said after enduring his tough weekend, "It was a difficult weekend. The cold weather and wet set up didn't work out for us, and the changes we made sent us in the wrong direction. But we all worked together to put this right and with the dry conditions today, we were in a better position, with much better pace. However, the damage was done in qualifying and we were always going to struggle to move any further forward than we did in the Sprint race, it's always difficult to overtake here.
"In the feature race I had a good start, and then through the next few corners I overtook quite a few cars, so we were up to 14th by the second lap. I was feeling very comfortable, and the car was certainly feeling much quicker today and we had the pace of the cars ahead of us. I think we could have had a top ten finish today, but we just lost drive and there was a problem with the rear of the car, so I had no option but to pull in to the garage."
Jack Cunningham, Chief Executive of A1 Team Malaysia, said of the weekend, "It's not the start to the season that we wanted or expected, but I think by the end of it, we felt much more positive that our problems were behind us. We had thought that our qualifying problems were mechanical yesterday, but in fact we realised that it wasn't the case. We worked long into the night to resolve the issues and as a result we definitely had much better pace today. It's unfortunate we couldn't show that in the feature race, as we were running well, but these things happen. In the last two seasons of A1GP we have rarely retired with mechanical problems, and I'm sure that we will have the reliability and consistency we need moving forward."
The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport moves on to the Czech Republic in two weeks time. Brno circuit will host the second event of the 2007/08 calendar which takes place from 12-14 October 2007.