TOP TEN FINISH FOR A1 TEAM MALAYSIA IN MEXICO The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport's eighth round was held today in Mexico City with overflowing grandstands of local fans enjoying two thrilling A1GP races. A1 Team Malaysia with Alex Yoong driving ...
TOP TEN FINISH FOR A1 TEAM MALAYSIA IN MEXICO
The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport's eighth round was held today in Mexico City with overflowing grandstands of local fans enjoying two thrilling A1GP races. A1 Team Malaysia with Alex Yoong driving scored a ninth place finish in the Sprint race, but after a drive through penalty in the Feature race, it was a disappointing 15th place position at the chequered flag.
The weekend has been tough for the Malaysian team and everyone has worked hard over the last two days to prepare the car for today's races and develop the setup for optimal performance. With a 14th place start for the Sprint race and 11th place for the Feature race, the Malaysian team was aiming for two points scoring finishes.
The rolling start of the Sprint race produced early drama, with the Pakistan car hitting the back of the China car, flying upwards and landing in the middle of the track. With other cars caught up in the incident and the Pakistan car stranded, the race was red flagged. After a short interlude the field of A1GP cars returned to grid formation for the restart.
The Sprint restart was a drag race in to the first corner and Yoong charged down to it, passing cars as he drove hard and reached 11th place by the end of the opening lap. As the race progressed Yoong kept out of trouble and benefited from South Africa falling out of the race to lie 10th by mid-distance. With five laps to go a mistake by the Czech Republic left the car in a dangerous position on track and this brought out the Ferrari safety car. As racing resumed Yoong continued to race hard, pushing for position and with just two laps to go passed Brazil to take ninth place, which he then kept until the chequered flag.
He said after the Sprint race, "We had an excellent start and by the end of the first lap we were up to 10th. I was quite pleased with my move on Brazil to take ninth. We have finished in the points, which was the aim."
Lining up on the sixth row for the Feature Race Yoong was ready for another tense, fierce battle. After a starting lights glitch forced an aborted start, the grid formed for a second time and after the red lights went out, the pack raced down the long front straight to the first corner with Yoong quick off the mark from 11th place. He had improved to ninth place at the end of the first lap, but dropped back during the early part of the race to lie 13th at the first round of pitstops. Quick pit work from the Malaysian crew put Yoong back out on track in 11th place and he maintained position as the race reached the halfway point, chasing the China car ahead while also defending from Portugal behind. New Zealand sliding off track gifted Malaysia 10th place, but with Yoong fighting to control his car he lost two places to Portugal and Brazil. A drive through penalty for a racing regulation infringement dropped Yoong further back, with the team finishing 15th after the 47 lap race.
The Malaysian driver said after the race, "It is the story of what might have been. Our start was good and we were up to seventh but I flat spotted the tyres at the chicane and then the front tyres weren't good and I was just falling back. The boys did a cracking stop to put me back up, but I got passed because I was struggling with the balance of the car. The second stop was another superb job by the pit crew, but I had a drive through penalty for making a mistake on the exit, which put us out of contention for points. I'm hugely disappointed with that result."
Jack Cunningham, Chief Executive, A1 Team Malaysia, comments, "We drove in two highly competitive races today and we're pleased to have taken away a couple more points. It's disappointing though that the superb work of the pit crew came to nothing for us in the Feature race. It's tough when everyone in your team works so hard and with such commitment not to get the level of results that you feel is deserved, but unfortunately that's the nature of motor racing.
We'll keep our spirits high as we know we have a strong team, and there are still four more races in which to add to our points tally. We'll look forward to racing back in Asia next month."
The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport heads to Shanghai, China in four weeks time, for the penultimate round of the 2007/08 season. The Series has travelled the globe since its first event in Zandvoort, the Netherlands, visiting Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and America over the course of seven months.