ALEX YOONG QUALIFIES IN NINTH ROW FOR KOREA

Changwon, Korea -- Saturday, 27th November 1999 -- Malaysia's Alex Yoong qualified 9th position in the even numbered group qualifying sessions today at the 3.0km Changwon Street Circuit in Changwon city, near Pusan in Korea.

Because of the great number of cars competing in this first ever Korea Formula 3 International Grand Prix, the 28 cars were split into odd numbered and even numbered qualifying sessions of 14 cars per group.

The grid will be made up of the left hand row being taken up by the odd numbered qualifiers and the right hand row by the even numbered qualifiers. This means Alex will be starting from 9th position on the right hand column of the grid which is 18th position from pole position.

The qualifying sessions was run at near zero temperatures today which means the cars could only start their flying laps from lap 6 onwards as the tyres start to get into the ideal temperature for quick laps.

"The track was very slippery before the tyres warmed up and by the time I started my flying laps I met traffic and had to abort my lap. This was very frustrating for me as I had to abort my flying laps on three occasions. I simply ran out of time to put in a quick lap. The circuit is very short and very tight which accounted for the traffic of both quick cars slowing down after their flying laps and coming up against the slow cars of local Korean drivers who are some 6 seconds per lap slower than the pole car."explained Alex.

Qualifying was very tight with only 1.2 seconds separating the top 10 positions in Alex's odd number session.

Front row is occupied by poleman Briton Darren Manning who is Macau's winner and Japan's Toshihiro Kaneishi. Second row by Christian Albers of Holland and Britain's Jenson Button. While row three is occupied by Swede Peter Sungberg and Frenchman Jonathan Cochet.

Sunday's race will be in two legs of 25 laps each with the grid for leg two determined by the order of finish of leg one.

TV3 Malaysia has joined Alex Yoong's main sponsor - Pan Global Insurance, in the Korea Grand Prix as Alex Yoong's official TV Broadcaster.