ALEX YOONG FINISHED 7th IN MACAU GP
Malaysia's Formula 1 hopeful, Alex Yoong overcame a near impossible task starting from 23rd on the grid to finish an incredible 7th in the 46th Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix today.
This is an improvement of 2 positions from last year in his first F3 race in Macau.
"This had been an incredible weekend for me and the team, both in terms of being very difficult during qualifying when we sort of lost our way in the car set-up and in the recovery from the ashes to finish in seventh. I'm happy but at the same time couldn't help but feel it could be better." concluded Alex.
Team owner Alan Docking praised Alex for persevering, " Alex did not give up despite qualifying 23rd of 30 due to not ideal set-up of the car's suspension. He had been very professional all weekend. I would say he did a remarkable job."
LEG 1 :
A spectacular shunt at the San Francisco Hill corner from Germany's Robert Lechner resulted in a 10 car pile-up in the first lap of leg 1. Malaysia's Alex Yoong who started from 23rd on the grid also suffered damages to his front right and rear left suspension.
The team managed to repair Alex's car in time for leg one's re-start from the pitlane. Only 20 from an original grid of 30 took to the start grid while Japan's Ara and Alex started from the pitlane for the re-start of leg 1.
Successive quick laps saw Alex move up to 13th position from 22nd by lap 7 of the 15 lap race.
In lap 9, India's Narain Karthikeyan tried an overtaking manoevre on fourth position Peter Sundberg of Sweden at the famous Lisboa corner but didn't make the move stick and instead putting both cars out thus elevating Alex to 11th position.
Alex then overtook another 2 cars to move up to 9th and stayed in this position for the last 3 laps due to oversteering problems presumably from excessive tyre wear following the rushed repair prior to the re-start.
"I am very happy for my sponsors Pan Global Insurance and my team with this result, especially when we did not have a great qualifying outing. The car was good at this morning's warm-up and we should be able to attack the top 6 position in leg 2." said Alex.
LEG 2 :
Alex, starting from grid position number 9, had a good start to move up to 8th and stayed in 8th position for 9 laps.
Team-mate Andrew Kirkaldy had an even better start from 8th on the grid to move up to 5th.
Alex was elevated to 7th overall position when Kirkaldy stopped on lap 12 with gear selection problems.
Peter Sunberg of Spain then moved up to join Alex in a three car tussle for tyhe eigth position with Italy's Boldi. "I touched wheels with Boldi twice and decided it's not on to defend my position from Sundberg who was 2 laps down from me after leg 1 and I eased off to let other non-finishers of leg 1 through to preserve my seventh overall position." said Alex.
Alex finished 12th in leg 2 but seventh overall in the combined two legs results.
The Macau F3 GP was won by Briton Darren Manning who won both legs, with fellow countryman Jenson Button in second and Japan's Daisuke Itoh third.
Alex finished seventh overall out of 30 entries with a combined time for the two legs of 1h 10m 04.204s. Only 10 competitors finished both legs of the Macau GP.
Alex Yoong had been sponsored by Pan Global Insurance in the Macau GP and he'll move to Pusan tomorrow for next weekend's Korea F3 Grand Prix.