ALEX YOONG THIRD ON THE GRID FOR ROUND 5 APRIL 24th 1999
Malaysia's Formula 3 racer Alex Yoong, 22, claims third on the grid for round 5 of the 1999 British Formula 3 Championship at Brands Hatch today (Saturday) with a time of 42.636 seconds, placing him in good position to win his first podium position in a British Formula 3 round for Sunday 25th April.
Earlier in the morning, Alex qualified fifth for round 4 with a time of 42.385 seconds at the double header round 4 and round 5 weekend at the famous Kent circuit, near London. The morning qualifying times were faster than the afternoon session as the ambient temperature was lower. Alex said from London, " I'm getting stronger with each outing. Alan Docking (Alex's team boss) was right when he told me that you can only get " car-fit " by being in the car driving it hard. Well, this is exactly what I'm going to do, to improve my results with each outing."
He added, " The start for both the races tomorrow is critical. A good start will make life much easier in this tight and short 2 km circuit. The team is fitting a new clutch for my car for tomorrow's races and this will help. "
India's racing star Narain Karthikeyan, 24, of Carlin Motorsport grabbed his first pole positions for both the qualifying sessions signaling an unparalleled surge of Far East motorsports prominence. Both Karthikeyan and Yoong were the product of Formula Asia in the mid 90s. Brazil's Luciano Burti from Stewart Racing was second in both sessions and he will be looking for his first win of the season.
The previous three rounds winners, Marc Hynes (GB) who won rd.1 and rd.2 and Jenson Button (GB) who won rd.3 missed out on the top 3 positions for both rd.4 and rd.5. Button qualified 4th and 5th while Hynes qualified 6th for both sessions.
What ever happens tomorrow, this year's championship is shaping up to be very open with more than seven racers capable of winning races and therefore have a chance for the overall championship honors in the long 16 round 1999 campaign. Rounds 4 and 5 tomorrow are expected to produce a new race winner or maybe even two as the championship current top three, Hynes, Button and Kristian Kolby of Denmark have all unexpectedly not found the speed or optimum car settings this weekend.
Alex Yoong's "Racing for Malaysia" project is sponsored by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Pan Global Insurance, RoadAssist, ADR, Proton, Neuronet, and Malaysia Airlines.