Misano, Italy - Sunday, 12th Sept 1999 - Malaysia's Alex Yoong finished a strong ninth on his first race since his huge Spa crash two weeks ago at Misano, Italy in round 5 of the Italian F3000 Championshiptoday.
Starting from ninth on the grid, Alex moved up to seventh by the end of lap one while his team-mate Apicella overhauled pole sitter Thomas Biagi to take the lead till the chequered flag.
Alex overcame very strong pressure from Oliver Martini of Italy for most of the first 10 laps but managed to open up a comfortable 1.3 second gap from lap 11 onwards.
On the last lap of the 25 lap race, Alex's engine all of a sudden lost the electrics and he lost 2 positions with only less than a kilometer to the chequered flag but the engine managed to re-fire when he manupilated with the cut-off switch and he finished ninth without losing more positions.
"I must have accidently knocked the cut-out switch off and I'm disappointed for not finishing in the points." said Alex. "But it was a very good return race for me as I felt as good as new."
"I am however very pleased for my team-mate Marco and my Monaco Motorsports team as he's now within one point of the championship leader and has a very good chance to win with two more rounds to go." Added Alex.
Prior to the start of the race, all the teams and drivers gathered at the start grid to pay a minute's silence of respect to fellow Formula 3000 racer Gonzalo Rodriques of Uruguay who was killed the day before in a freak accident during practice at the Laguna Seca round of the Champ Car race in the United States yesterday(Saturday). This had been a tremendous shock for all the drivers at this race as Gonzalo had only just been in Spa two weeks ago when he finished second in the International F3000 race.
Alex's next race will be the International F3000 final round which supports the European Formula 1 Grand Prix at Nurburgring on the 23rd to the 25th of September. After which Alex will return to Misano, Italy for round 6 of the Italian F3000 Championship on the 3rd of October. He is scheduled to be back in Malaysia on the 6th of October for a break when he hopes to take part in a support race at the Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix on the 16th of October.