NEW YEAR, NEW HOPE FOR A1 TEAM MALAYSIA The first A1GP World Cup of Motorsport race weekend of 2008 takes A1 Team Malaysia to Taupo in New Zealand. The team, with drivers Alex Yoong and Aaron Lim, are hoping that the New Year will bring better...
NEW YEAR, NEW HOPE FOR A1 TEAM MALAYSIA
The first A1GP World Cup of Motorsport race weekend of 2008 takes A1 Team Malaysia to Taupo in New Zealand. The team, with drivers Alex Yoong and Aaron Lim, are hoping that the New Year will bring better results than has been achieved so far this season. The low point came in the last race of 2007, with two retirements from the Zhuhai races after a bout of bad luck for Yoong when other drivers unnecessarily shunted him off track, damaging the Malaysian race car.
The trip to New Zealand will be the second visit for the A1GP teams, with this race weekend being introduced for the first time last season, and A1GP becoming the first international single-seater race series to visit the Taupo circuit. It immediately became one of the favourite events on the calendar with the warm hospitality of the New Zealanders matched by the beautiful backdrop of Lake Taupo and the stunning scenery of the country.
The 3.5 km circuit is the focus of the Taupo Motor Sport Park. The track runs in an anti-clockwise direction, featuring 13 turns and an 830 metre straight, and offers the field of A1GP drivers a unique challenge.
Yoong says of his hopes for Taupo, "Last year the team narrowly missed out on a points finish in the Feature race, so we need to do better than that. We'll sit down together as a team when we all arrive at the track and put together the strategy that we believe will bring us the best results. We know that qualifying, as always, will be important. This season we've suffered from having to start well back on the grid. Fighting to get to the front is then a big challenge, so that will be one of our focuses. We're all very determined to get better results than we've had so far this season -- the determination is there, we now need to deliver the performances we're capable of. I know it can be done."
Jack Cunningham, Chief Executive, A1 Team Malaysia, says of the challenge, "This season is proving to be our toughest yet and we're not on top of our game yet. As we head into the second half of the season we still have the total dedication and determination to regain our form and I know the team will pull together to strive for the results we so desperately want. We all hope Taupo will see us making a step forward in our 2007/08 campaign."
A1 Team Malaysia has been racing since the inception of the A1GP Series, finishing fifth overall at the end of the first championship and sixth in the second season. The Taupo race weekend starts on Friday with two practice sessions, the first of which is reserved for young, up and coming drivers. Aaron Lim will drive in this session as he strives to gain experience while also helping the team to prepare for the weekend. Final practice and qualifying take place on Saturday, with the two races -- the Sprint and the Feature -- on Sunday.