FNIPPON: Alex Yoong's toughest race

Suzuka - Japan, Sunday 2nd July 2000 - Run in 36 degrees celsius burningly hot weather in the Suzuka Circuit's round 5 of the 2000 Formula Nippon Championship, Alex declared immediately after racing for nearly one and a half hours and finishing...

Suzuka - Japan, Sunday 2nd July 2000 - Run in 36 degrees celsius burningly hot weather in the Suzuka Circuit's round 5 of the 2000 Formula Nippon Championship, Alex declared immediately after racing for nearly one and a half hours and finishing 11th out of 20 drivers that "This was the toughest race of my life! I'm very glad I had prepared myself well physically, although I still need to improve more. I'm a little surprised that I could race strongly towards the end of the 72 lap race without losing concentration from the exhaustion." At the start, Alex took off from 18th on the grid to gain one position. When the safety car came out on lap 2 to clear Tachikawa's car after an off into the gravel trap, everyone took to the pits for the compulsory pit stop. Alex gained 2 positions from the pit stop. Alex then put in some good laps to move up to 13th when the other cars who didn't pit in the first safety car period took to the pits for their tyre change when the safety car re-emerged to clear Osamu's car following a big shunt. On lap 46, Kaneishi slowed with engine problems, which moved Alex up to 12th. Alex kept pushing with a series of consistent laps between lap 52 and lap 61 to close the gap of 8 seconds from team-mate Igarashi of Team LeMans to 0.5 second. "I guessed that Igarashi must be tiring that I could close the gap down so quickly and made a move at turn 1 after following him for a couple of laps." said Alex. After the move on Igarashi on lap 64, Alex proceeded to catch Ryo Michigami for the 10th spot. Alex, however ran out of laps to finish 11th, just half a second from Michigami. His tital race time was 1h 23m 00.535s. Round 5 was won again by Toranosuke Takagi of Team Nakajima with a time of 1hr. 22min. 17.358sec.with Team LeMans' Hideki Noda gaining the second spot after holding off Team Zigen's Michael Krumm. Alex will be staying on in Japan for the official test at the Sugo Circuit next week and is gaining confidence with each race. "I'm looking forward to the next race as it is at an even tougher circuit than Suzuka. As long as we can get the car good early in the weekend so that we can qualify well. If we do qualify well, a points finish is possible" The Team Malaysia Formula Nippon project started by Japan Race Promotion and the Malaysian Ministry of Youth and Sports to foster Asian cooperation in motorsports is sponsored by fullflex RADIUS, Konica, Malaysia Airlines, TAG Heuer, Brylcreem, Pan Global Insurance and the LeMans Company.

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Series Other open wheel
Drivers Michael Krumm , Alex Yoong , Hideki Noda , Ryo Michigami , Toranosuke Takagi