My Qi-Meritus.Mahara looks toward a better second race in Dubai
Alex Yoong (18) - DNF
Earl Bamber (19) - DNF
Friday, December 5, 2008 - Malaysian Alex Yoong and New Zealand rookie Earl Bamber started respectively from 16th and 21st and were looking to finish the 34-lap long first race of their second GP2 Asia series weekend in the points. However, the race ended on lap 3 for Alex Yoong who suffered from a damaged rear suspension and was forced to retire. The race ended early as well for Earl Bamber who could not make it to the finish because of an engine problem.
It was an exciting start for Bamber and Yoong as they both gained a place and were running 14th and 19th at the start of lap two. By lap five, Earl Bamber was up to eleventh and made his compulsory pit stop. He fought his way back through the field before an engine problem ended his race three laps before the finish.
Earl Bamber commented, "My start was not that strong. It was messy ahead of me. I could only pass James Jakes and then I worked hard to gain positions. My early pit stop did not go as smooth as I wanted wit one of the wheels remaining stuck. I rejoined and began fighting up the order. I was up to ninth when I started losing the front tyres and sense the pace was not there anymore. I fought on, but three laps before the end I had the impression that there was a fuel shortage but in fact it was my engine dying. It was a real pity because we were holding in the top ten without problem. It's very disappointing, even if there is another race tomorrow."
Alex Yoong commented, "I am not very pleased with my race. We really missed the time and mileage from first practice. The car was good and I got up to 17th. The pace was good, but as I turned I felt the car was gone, the wishbone was broken. I didn't notice, but there must have been contact at the start as I have marks on my tyres, but I didn't feel anything. So far it hasn't been a great weekend and I have been struggling with an upset stomach. I hope to be better tomorrow and end the weekend on a positive note."
Peter Thompson, team founder commented, "I am very disappointed that neither of our two cars finished today since the team, mechanics and engineers and our team principal Gianfranco Bielli worked so hard to have a good race in front of our fans and our sponsors. Sometimes, it is just hard to go racing. Now we must investigate whath appened with Earl's engine and plan for a stronger second race."
Raad S. Abduljawad, team chairman, My Qi-Meritus.Mahara commented, "Of course I am disappointed. I had been looking forward to our home race. It's definitely a race to forget with Alex Yoong out after the third lap and Earl Bamber out at the end of the race as he was running in the top ten. Let's hope for the entire team that tomorrow is a better day."