Yoong Set For Debut V8 Supercar Drive Ex-Formula One driver Alex Yoong gets to realise another major milestone in his international motorsport career when he suits up for his debut drive in Australia's V8 Supercar Championship Series. Yoong,...
Yoong Set For Debut V8 Supercar Drive
Ex-Formula One driver Alex Yoong gets to realise another major milestone in his international motorsport career when he suits up for his debut drive in Australia's V8 Supercar Championship Series.
Yoong, who two weeks ago relocated to Queensland's Gold Coast after securing a drive with businessman Craig Gore's WPS Racing Ford team, will have his first drive in the category in this weekend's Betta Electrical Sandown 500 in Victoria.
Yoong will take the lead seat in WPS Racing's Car 48 and will be joined in the endurance event by co-driver John McIntyre, from New Zealand.
The other WPS Racing Ford Falcon, Car 23, is being driven by lead driver David Besnard and co-driver Neil McFadyen.
Yoong said that his first drive in V8 Supercars has been a long time coming after he first started exploring his options in the category last year.
"It was frustrating sitting on the sidelines trying to get a drive but that shows how competitive it is in the V8 Supercar category," said Yoong.
"But now I've secured a seat and I'm determined to make the most of it."
Yoong has already had one impressive test session with WPS Racing but is looking forward to spending some quality time behind the wheel in the next two endurance events.
"It is good to come into the team for the two endurance races as they ensure that I get plenty of drive time to get used to the cars and the style of racing," he said.
"That should stand me in good stead when we get back into the sprint format for the home race on the Gold Coast next month."
Yoong, who lives in Kuala Lumper in Malaysia, relocated to the Gold Coast last month after the departure of WPS Racing foundation driver Mark Noske.
He immediately moved into a Gold Coast apartment owned by team owner Craig Gore and was joined by endurance race team mates Neil McFadyen and John McIntyre.
The three, along with David Besnard, have spent the past two weeks in a boot camp-style environment to ensure they gel on track at Sandown.
"For three of us this is a completely new team so there was a need for all of us to get acquainted and learn how WPS Racing functions," said Yoong.
"The team has a very professional approach and looks at both the mental and physical aspects of racing.
"I'm very comfortable in this environment and it has been a great experience leading into my first race."
Yoong began racing motorcross at age eight and went on to become a teenage driving sensation in Asia before shifting to Europe to race in categories including the British Formula Renault Sport Championships, the British Formula 3 Championships, the Italian Formula 3000 and the International Formula 3000 Championships.
In 2001 he joined the European Minardi Formula One team and became the first Malaysian F1 competitor and the first Asian non-Japanese F1 driver in nearly half a century.
His best finish in Formula One was a 7th in the 2002 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
In 2003 he also competed in several rounds of the US Champ Car World Series.