MALAYSIA FINISHES SIXTH IN A1GP WORLD CUP OF MOTORSPORT The fourth season of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport drew to a close today, with A1 Team Malaysia debuting Aaron Lim for the final race weekend at Brands Hatch circuit in Kent, Great ...
MALAYSIA FINISHES SIXTH IN A1GP WORLD CUP OF MOTORSPORT
The fourth season of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport drew to a close today, with A1 Team Malaysia debuting Aaron Lim for the final race weekend at Brands Hatch circuit in Kent, Great Britain. The 2008/09 A1GP series finished with Ireland crowned as champions and A1 Team Malaysia is pleased to take sixth place in the overall standings.
Lim lined up 18th on the grid for the Sprint race, following his first ever 'flying lap' qualifying session yesterday. Making his first ever standing start in an international race of this calibre, Lim was a little quick on the clutch, losing him time when the lights went out for the start of the race. He kept his head and despite dropping one position, was closely following the field.
The team pitted Lim at the earliest opportunity and with quick team work the Malaysian car was back out racing and improving their position to 18th place. The Lebanon car spun off track in the closing stages, with the New Zealand car following it into the gravel, promoting Lim to 16th position, which he held until the chequered flag.
The grid for the Feature race lined up this afternoon, but a small error by Lim, unused to warming new tyres on a full fuel load, put him into a spin and into the gravel. The Malaysian car and driver were towed back to the pits and the team checked over the car for damage and worked furiously to fix a damaged front wing in the time remaining before the start of the race. The team was ready to start the race from the pitlane when there was an electronics failure resulting in the car having to be dragged back in to the garage. After further monumental teamwork, Lim set off and the team was fortunate that a safety car had to be brought out after the first lap, which bunched up the cars.
Lim was on the tail of the field holding his own and lapping consistently. Other more experienced drivers made mistakes early in the race and this, combined with a good first pitstop, put the Malaysian team into 14th position as the race reached its second pitstop window. However, Lim was running on well worn tyres and with a couple of laps to go to putting new ones on, he was caught out at Druids Bend sliding off into the gravel which left him stranded and unable to rejoin the race.
Lim said after the two races, "It's been a very steep learning curve for me this weekend and I really did have a mountain to climb, having had such little experience compared to all the other drivers. I've enjoyed the chance to race here, but I'm disappointed that I made a few mistakes in the Feature race which ended up with me retiring from it.
"The team have given me so much support, so it was a shame I couldn't complete the Feature race. It has been an amazing experience and I never realised just how much there is involved for the main race driver, despite having been to many races as the rookie driver. I have plenty of areas to work on and it has made me even more determined to gain more race experience so that I can be better able to handle this level of competition. I have really enjoyed my weekend and would like to thank everyone in the team."
Jack Cunningham, Chief Executive, A1 Team Malaysia, summed up the weekend saying, "Aaron has had a baptism of fire this weekend. We threw him in the deep end and he rose admirably to the occasion. A solid run in the Sprint race, bringing the car home in one piece was exactly what we asked of him. He was running very well in the Feature race, but we never underestimated the challenge of racing at this level in not one, but two races. Sometimes it is a cruel sport, as Aaron did not deserve to end his weekend without finishing.
"The team has achieved sixth in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport standings, an outstanding achievement for the country with this position eclipsing other much more experienced motor racing nations such as Great Britain, USA, Italy and Germany among others. Congratulations to everyone in A1 Team Malaysia."
The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport takes a break for the next few months, returning for its fifth season of competition later this year. Before this A1 Team Malaysia will be busy showcasing the team in its home nation and preparing for the next season.