AP: Alex Yoong Shanghai Friday practice notes

V8 Supercar driver Alex Yoong left his mark in his first serious hit out at the impressive new Shanghai International Circuit in China today. Yoong, who drives a Ford Falcon in the V8 Supercar Championship Series for Australian businessman Craig...

V8 Supercar driver Alex Yoong left his mark in his first serious hit out at the impressive new Shanghai International Circuit in China today.

Yoong, who drives a Ford Falcon in the V8 Supercar Championship Series for Australian businessman Craig Gore's WPS Racing, turned in a blistering drive in the first practice session of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia.

He finished a clear second in front of the second fastest driver and sounded an ominous warning to the rest of the field by declaring the car, sponsored by Mobil 1 with support from WPS Racing, still has plenty in reserve.

"I think we will get faster as the weekend progresses," said Yoong.

"Today was all about getting a feel for the car and the circuit and we will build up over the weekend."

Yoong described the circuit as a technical track and said Australia's V8 Supercars will love the 1.2km long back straight.

"You could be looking at speeds exceeding 300km on that part of the track," he said.

Yoong said the level of excitement in Shanghai was building and officials have indicated the meeting is a sellout.

"That could see 200,000 people at the circuit on Sunday so it will be pretty exciting competing in front of that size crowd," he said.

Yoong's car rolled on to the track immediately after the first practice session for Formula One, the category he competed in for the Minardi team in the 2002 and 2003 seasons.

He will be back out on track on Saturday for qualifying and Sunday for the main race.

Yoong's strong showing today comes just two weeks before he competes in Australia's greatest motorsport endurance event -- the Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 at Bathurst's Mount Panorama.

He will be competing at Bathurst in one of the two WPS Racing Ford Falcons, sponsored by the Wright Patton Shakespeare Financial Group, along with team mates David Besnard, John McIntyre and Neil McFadyen.

"The cars I'm driving in China are very different to the V8 Supercars but any time in a car is good preparation for an event," said Yoong.

"I haven't really had too many competitive hit outs this year so I'm looking forward to getting some racing under my belt.

"But a test session back in Australian next week with WPS Racing is probably the best practice I can get for Bathurst."

-wps racing-

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About this article
Series Porsche
Drivers Alex Yoong , David Besnard , Bob Jane , Neil McFadyen