Brands Hatch: A lap with Alex Yoong

From 02 - 04 May 2008 the Brands Hatch circuit will once again host the season finale of the A1GP championship, and for the first time in it's history, the Championship is going down to the wire. If you cast your mind back to just the start of the...

From 02 - 04 May 2008 the Brands Hatch circuit will once again host the season finale of the A1GP championship, and for the first time in it's history, the Championship is going down to the wire. If you cast your mind back to just the start of the first season 2 and a half years ago, when Brands Hatch held the opening A1GP race, it makes you realise how far the series has come since its inception. A1 Team Malaysia is very proud to have been a part of the World Cup of Motorsport since the start, competing for the pride of our nation!

The historic Brands Hatch Circuit is popular with many of the drivers; it is highly technical with its diverse mix of high and low speed corners. It is a sharp contrast to the ultra modern facility we have just left behind in Shanghai. The Brands Hatch circuit was established in 1926 as a dirt track for motorbikes and has since evolved into the track we race on today. The circuit's bowl shape creates a natural amphitheatre and gives spectators unrivalled views of the whole Indy circuit. The A1GP cars run on the full 3.7km Grand Prix configuration, taking the drivers out the back of the circuit and through the fast section of track in the impressive woodland.

During the 2007 race weekend, we scored in both the Sprint and Feature Races with a fifth and ninth place finish, this year we'll be pleased to once again take home a double points score. We've turned a corner after Shanghai, after what has been an exceptionally frustrating season for us and we hope that we can end the 2007/08 season with a couple of strong showings. The crowd at Brands Hatch are always very colourful and supportive; even if the British weather sometimes does it's best to dampen their spirits! We hope that A1GP can deliver the crowds an exceptional race to reward them for their dedication come rain or shine.

Fast Facts:

Here are a few interesting facts about the UK and Brands Hatch, which you may not already know:

Great Britain it is the largest island in Europe, and eighth largest in the world. It is surrounded by over 1000 smaller islands and islets.

As recently as 9,000 years ago, Great Britain was not an island at all. The end of the last ice age saw the southeastern part of Great Britain still connected by a strip of low marshes to the European mainland in what is now northeastern France. @Brands Hatch held the first ever A1GP World Cup of Motorsport race and was watched by a crowd of 72,000.

Located less than 20 miles from the centre of London, Brands Hatch i ideally located for motorsport and to explore one of Europe' most exciting cities

Lap record: 1.14.381 set by A1 Team GBR during the 2007 race

During the 2007 race at Brands Hatch, A1 Team Great Britain became the first nation to ever take victory on home soil with their driver Robbie Kerr at the wheel

A race track has existed on the Brands Hatch site since 1926, when a grass track was used for motorcycles. Since then, many motor racing legends have won at the circuit, including Stirling Moss, Jim Clark, Jack Brabham, Emerson Fittipaldi, Ayrton Senna and Jenson Button

The UK is the third largest country in Europe with nearly 60 million inhabitants, 7.2 million of these live in London. Its overall population density is one of the highest in the world.

The English love their tea. They consume more tea per capita than any other country in the world. Their tea consumption is more than thrice of Japan and a whopping twenty two times more than America or the French

British police do not carry guns except in an emergency

The Windsor castle is the oldest royal residence in the world still in use. It is also the largest.

The world's oldest public zoo was opened in London in 1828

If you're planning a visit to Brands Hatch then Malaysia Airlines flies to London Heathrow twice a day, which is about an hour away from the famous Kent circuit.

Alex Yoong's corner by corner guide to the historic Brands Hatch Circuit:

Turn 1 is the famous "Paddock Hill" bend, one of the best corners in the world. It's very fast and is taken in 4 or 5th gear. It's a majestic corner as it falls away from the entry to the exit so steeply that the bottom of the corner is about 3 stories below where the entry is. A corner that rewards the brave as you only see the horizon as you go across the apex.

Turn 2 is a tight hairpin and you can be quick if you brake very late here.

Turn 3 is a touch on the brakes before getting hard on the power again. You need a good balance here as there is time to be made up.

Turn 4 is a left hander that turns uphill steeply. You need to have a very good exit here so that you can carry that extra speed down the back straight.

Turn 5 is a very fast 5th gear corner taken at well over 220kph. There is no run off at the exit so you have very little room for error.

Turn 6 is a medium speed corner that under steers a lot due to the track dropping away. You have to be patient not too be too aggressive or you will under steer off into the grass.

Turn 7 is taken blind and you need to be very aggressive here, taking a lot of curb.

Turn 8 is heavily cambered and you can carry quite a bit of speed through it. Its taken in third and you get quite a large "g" load through this corner.

Turn 9 drops away and you have quite a lot of under steer here. It's pretty quick and you need to set the car up here so that there is a good balance as it leads on to the long front straight.


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About this article
Series A1GP
Drivers Jenson Button , Alex Yoong , Jim Clark , Ayrton Senna , Emerson Fittipaldi , Stirling Moss , Jack Brabham