FNIPPON: Alex Yoong Suzuka report

Malaysia's Formula Nippon racer Alex Yoong qualified 14th out of 20 entries in round one of the 2000 Formula Nippon Championship but he did not make the start on Sunday's 35 lap race due to a big accident towards the end of the second qualifying...

Malaysia's Formula Nippon racer Alex Yoong qualified 14th out of 20 entries in round one of the 2000 Formula Nippon Championship but he did not make the start on Sunday's 35 lap race due to a big accident towards the end of the second qualifying session at the ultra-fast 130 R Corner after he moved from 16th to 14th on his 11th lap.

"The car is completely destroyed except for the engine which could be salvaged." said Alex after the medical check up at the Suzuka Circuit medical center.

"It was completely my mistake. I had moved up on my previous lap and was on another quick lap when my rear stepped out at the exit of 130R. I didn't want to lose that lap so I kept my foot down. I totally lost it. And at that speed of 250kph, I could not save the car. It happened so quickly."

"In hind sight, I should have lifted when the car stepped out and lose that lap. It may not have been that big a damage then and I could have then raced on Sunday."

Team Malaysia's Director, K. Homma said, "It was a very big one. I'm glad Alex wasn't hurt. We'll get a new car for Alex before the next round at Motegi. It was not a good weekend but we'll be back for round two"

1999 final round winner Ralph Firman of Britain will line up at pole with a time of 1m 44.579s which is an average speed of 201.86kph over a lap of the famous 5.89 km long Suzuka Circuit.

Joining Firman in the front row is K. Kaneishi of Japan with a time of 1m 44.842s while German M. Krumm at 1m 45.029s will line up third for the race at 2.30pm on Sunday.

Formula 1 returnee T. Takagi completed the second row in fourth with a time of 1m 45.046s.

In the race Toranasuke Takagi won from Michael Krumm of Germany with Japan's N. Hattori third.

Round two will be held on the 14th and 15th of April at the TwinRing Motegi Circuit north of Tokyo.

Alex Yoong and Team Malaysia are sponsored by the Malaysian Ministry of Youth and Sports, Tag Heuer, Pan Global Insurance, Brylcreem and LeMans Company of Japan.

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Michael Krumm , Alex Yoong , Ralph Firman