A1 TEAM MALAYSIA LOOKING FORWARD TO THE PORTUGUESE RACE - THE LAST EUROPEAN LEG OF THE A1 SEASON As A1 Team Malaysia prepares for the 3rd race of the A1 Grand Prix series, taking place in Estoril, Portugal over 21-23 October 2005, spirits ...
A1 TEAM MALAYSIA LOOKING FORWARD TO THE PORTUGUESE RACE - THE LAST EUROPEAN LEG OF THE A1 SEASON
As A1 Team Malaysia prepares for the 3rd race of the A1 Grand Prix series, taking place in Estoril, Portugal over 21-23 October 2005, spirits are running high with the team currently placed 9th overall in the championship, with 11 series points.
The race in Portugal will be the last of the European leg, after which the teams head to Australia and then arrive at Sepang for the 5th race scheduled for 18-20 November 2005.
A1 Team Malaysia is working hard having learned some valuable lessons in the first two events, with all members of the team contributing to the pursuit of success in the first season of the series.
The team has confirmed that it will continue with its programme of sharing driving duties between its selected drivers, Fairuz Fauzy and Alex Yoong, and that both drivers will be racing at the A1 Grand Prix Malaysian event at Sepang for the benefit of the thousands of Malaysian fans that are expected to attend.
This strategy is central to the team's goals of developing young Malaysian motor racing talent and building a team with the depth and breadth of experience and abilities required to compete in international motorsport at this level.
Jack Cunningham, Team Principal, explains, "We are recruiting, training and employing a number of personnel into our technical team in excess of individual race requirements, in order to have a pool of skilled professionals available to us at all times. We believe we need to be ready for all eventualities in this series and having two drivers who are both fully familiar with our cars and our team members is essential strategy."
In order to maintain a true level playing field, A1 Grand Prix does not allow testing programmes outside of race weekends, which requires all teams to use the free practice sessions for driver evaluation and development.
Cunningham clarifies how this impacts on A1 Team Malaysia, saying, "Let's not forget that all teams are in the same position. Whilst the lack of opportunity for free testing does come at a cost to us, in terms of not being able to give either driver as much time in the car as those one- driver teams, it's still the right way to go. Just look at Fairuz's performance. He's done well. He suffered from a cold at the German event but look at the effort he has put in. As far as Alex is concerned, look at his performance at Brands and at Eurospeedway. Really outstanding stuff. So, as I have said previously, we are lucky we have two individuals of this calibre. Other nations I know are jealous of that resource. We are nurturing that so we can use it wisely."
"Certainly at some events only one driver will drive" continues Cunningham. "We will look at that on a race-by-race basis. But you can be assured that both drivers will race at the A1 event in Malaysia. Malaysia will get to see both these talented sportsmen racing at Sepang in November at which time we will also be introducing you to the up and coming drivers and technical personnel of Malaysia."
The team's strategic approach embraces a long-term development programme which is designed to introduce more young Malaysians into the motorsport industry and its allied technical and engineering disciplines.
Jack Cunningham adds, "We have a clear responsibility to develop young men and women in all areas of professional sports performance and in the technical aspects of motorsport at this level. This is an aspect of our overall business strategy but also part of our commitment to the Government and people of Malaysia, for whom we are racing."
Round 3 of the A1 Grand Prix of Nations will be at Estoril in Portugal on the weekend of 21-23 October, before heading to Australia and then on to Sepang, Malaysia.
All events will be televised by 8TV.