A1 TEAM MALAYSIA AIMING TO TURN FORTUNES AROUND IN DURBAN The South African round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport continued today on the streets of Durban, with the temporary circuit snaking along the shoreline and around the Sun Coast ...
A1 TEAM MALAYSIA AIMING TO TURN FORTUNES AROUND IN DURBAN
The South African round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport continued today on the streets of Durban, with the temporary circuit snaking along the shoreline and around the Sun Coast Casino. A1 Team Malaysia struggled to find their form today, posting only 17th fastest aggregated lap times in qualifying, to line up in this position for the Sprint race.
With only 30 minutes practice time yesterday, Malaysia needed to use morning practice to continue development of its car for the afternoon qualifying. With a full hour of running Yoong was able to complete 33 laps of the Durban track and gain further data to review prior to qualifying. Posting 10th quickest lap in the morning, the team felt prepared for the tough challenge of the afternoon Sprint grid-setting session.
In qualifying A1 Team Malaysia had three sets of new tyres at their disposal and was aiming to use these to put in a series of quick laps during the four segments of qualifying and, aggregated, the two quickest of these were used to determine the Team's grid position.
On their first run the team was ninth quickest and after the second segment had improved to fifth spot. In the third segment an early red flag stoppage reduced the amount of time available for a flying lap and, with the majority of the teams needing track time, it was a busy session with the drivers all fighting for a clean, quick lap. The Malaysian team also suffered with this and was lying 14th before the final segment. A red flag in this segment delayed the final flying lap run, and when finally able to complete it, finished 17th quickest overall, the team's grid slot for the Sprint race tomorrow.
Jack Cunningham, Chief Executive, A1 Team Malaysia, added, "Our performance today was below our expectations. Even if Alex hadn't had a brush with the wall, we weren't where we are used to being and at this stage we don't really know the reason why. We'll spend the rest of the evening looking at the data. Realistically for tomorrow, we must try and keep ourselves clean in the first race and push for position in the second."
Yoong reflected on the day saying, "I am disappointed. Usually we move forward during qualifying and today that just wasn't the case. Unfortunately I also hit the wall in Q4 which cost us about 5 or 6 positions."
The A1GP World of Motorsport, Durban, the eighth round of the 11 round Series, was voted the best presented event in last year's A1GP end of season Awards and is working hard to repeat this success for 2006/07. The street circuit is lined with grandstands which are expected to be filled with enthusiastic A1GP supporters for the two races tomorrow.