MALAYSIA TAKES FIFTH TO LEAD A1GP WORLD CUP OF MOTORSPORT The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport in Chengdu, China, staged the region's first A1GP event today with two races of nation versus nation competition. Fairuz Fauzy represented his nation this...
MALAYSIA TAKES FIFTH TO LEAD A1GP WORLD CUP OF MOTORSPORT
The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport in Chengdu, China, staged the region's first A1GP event today with two races of nation versus nation competition. Fairuz Fauzy represented his nation this weekend and drove a strong race to fifth place in the Feature race to take a clear championship lead to the team's home race in two weeks time. In the earlier sprint race the Malaysian team had finished in 13th position after a solid drive from Fauzy.
At the green flag for the Sprint race, which began with the customary rolling start of A1GP, Fauzy dropped a place, taking it cautiously for this first start in efforts to avoid any potential incidents. He recovered two places on the next lap, taking Italy and benefiting from a problem for Brazil to lie in 13th and with all the teams running cleanly the Malaysian driver held position as the laps counted down. It was an uncharacteristic A1GP Sprint race with very few changes of position up and down the field, leaving the final results very similar to the grid slots.
Fauzy said after the Sprint event, "I was disappointed with the start of the race. It wasn't a proper sprint race start, it was more like a restart, and the field was just too strung out at the green flag. With the tight pack in the midfield I ended up dropping a place on the opening lap, but managed to retake Italy. The track is quite tight, only the front straight is an overtaking opportunity, and I think with the short length of the race, there weren't many chances to make up ground."
The first standing start of the season opened the Feature race (with the treacherous weather in the first round demanding starts behind the safety car). The Netherlands car stalled on the grid as the lights went out for the start, bringing out a safety car at the end of that lap. Malaysia maintained its grid slot until the first round of pit stops and after quick work from the Malaysian crew Fauzy was back out on track in sixth place. With Australia ahead, Fauzy began to challenge for fifth but with limited overtaking opportunities was continually thwarted in his attempts.
Malaysia opted to stay out a few laps longer than the leaders for the second mandatory tyre change stop returning to the track in sixth place after another clean stop from the pit crew. A few laps later Fauzy made the best overtaking manoeuvre of the race when he overtook the Australian car by passing it round the outside of the first turn. Lying in fifth the Feature race calmed when France spinning brought out a safety car period. Racing resumed with six laps remaining and Malaysia held off its rivals to take the fifth place and, more importantly, retain the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport championship lead.
Fauzy said after the Feature race, "It was very tough, very physical. The pace of the car was good but I was stuck behind Australia for a while. I managed to pass that car eventually and that resulted in another point for us so that was good. The pit crew were perfect in the stops although I didn't make it easy for them when I came in a little too fast for the slippery surface and overshot my marks. Luckily it didn't cause any delay in the stop. I'm really pleased we have the championship lead heading into Malaysia."
Jack Cunningham said after the two races, "The team worked very well today, with great pit stops and a superb drive from Fairuz. There were several very good calls from Alan today, particularly with use of the PowerBoost and the race strategy, which was critical today. We had good pace and coming away with the lead of the Series is the best possible place for us to be ahead of our home race."
The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport continues its global tour with the third stop taking the teams to the home of the Malaysia team. The event will be held at the Sepang circuit, Kuala Lumpur, from 21 -- 23 November.