A1 TEAM MALAYSIA FLIES IN DAY 2 OF SILVERSTONE TEST Malaysia sets third fastest time Silverstone, U.K. - Thursday, 4 August 2005 - A1 Team Malaysia turned up the pace in the A1GP Silverstone tests' final afternoon session yesterday to finish ...
A1 TEAM MALAYSIA FLIES IN DAY 2 OF SILVERSTONE TEST
Malaysia sets third fastest time
Silverstone, U.K. - Thursday, 4 August 2005 - A1 Team Malaysia turned up the pace in the A1GP Silverstone tests' final afternoon session yesterday to finish third of 15 A1GP teams which saw some of the world's best racing drivers representing their national teams.
Malaysia had Alex Yoong at the wheel alongside drivers Jos Verstappen (formerly with Arrows and Minardi in F1) driving for Holland, Tomas Sheckter (South Africa), Pedro Lamy (Portugal, and formerly Lotus F1 driver), and Sauber test driver Neel Jani, piloting for the Swiss team. Other drivers who tested comprised Champ Car, F3000 and F3 winners and campaigners including Nelson Piquet Jr (Brazil), Alexandre Premat and Nicolas Lapierre representing France, and Great Britain's Robbie Kerr and Alex Lloyd.
Today A1 Team Malaysia went through and completed its entire pre-planned test programme smoothly and without any incidents over 47 laps in the morning session and 49 laps in the afternoon session.
Yoong, who maintained his overall physical fitness over 140 laps in two days despite having been out of a race car for nearly a year, was buoyant after the tests saying, "The quality present in A1GP, in the teams, the drivers and the management of the franchises is very high. The close times delivered by drivers in the last 2 days fully demonstrated that this will be an extremely exciting series."
"People in the pit lane this week at Silverstone are really surprised that we are building our own team with our eyes firmly on Malaysian talent. This is, however, in the spirit of A1GP from its conception. A1 Team Malaysia has demonstrated their abilities fairly and squarely - I thank all the team members who have worked very hard in the days leading up to and during this week - and we look forward to welcoming Fairuz Fauzy at the next tests at Paul Ricard on the 25 and 26 August."
Jack Cunningham, Team Principal of A1 Team Malaysia said: "A1 Team Malaysia would like to thank A1 Grand Prix for all their hard work and effort in ensuring that the first test has been successful. We have worked closely with many of their people over the past year in the lead up to this and know how much hard work has gone into the creation of this new series, a series which will be good for business and sport around the world. Congratulations to all the A1 people, and to Lola, Zytek and all the suppliers. At A1 Team Malaysia we are now looking forward to seeing everyone again at the Paul Ricard test on 25th and 26th August and the first race weekend at Brands Hatch in September".
Greg Wheeler, A1 Team Malaysia's Chief Engineer (and Yoong's team engineer at Minardi) said after the test, "Firstly a car is only as good as the people. The speed shown by Team Malaysia was impressive and is a testament to all the people involved. Alex has shown his talent carrying on from where he left of in F1 at Suzuka. We had a carefully planned strategy, which we executed well. We spent the first day understanding the car's aerodynamics and the second day the car's mechanical characteristics. Then finally we put the two elements together to produce a competitive car. Alex's feedback was excellent; he didn't make any mistakes, which kept the programme on course. Hopefully this is only the start with lots more to come from the team, the car and from Alex. We are looking forward to Fairuz getting into the car and working with Alex in a few weeks time."
Cunningham also praised the team's efforts when he summed up the test, "We have had a really great couple of days and have learned a good deal about the car which we can now put to use in planning for the Paul Ricard test which is so important. Given that this is the first time that the new team has worked together at the track things went remarkably well with everyone doing their jobs calmly and professionally. Alex and Greg quickly proved themselves to be an excellent team in setting up the car and the mechanics worked together to get the car running really well. Our strategy was to understand the car and its characteristics and to build slowly over the two days."
He continued "Today Alex proved himself to be everything that you expect from a driver of his experience and talent. He was calm, focused and professional and soon got to grips with the car demonstrating excellent speed as can be seen from his lap times. It was important that we didn't make mistakes and that we achieved our objectives, which we unquestionably did. We have started to build Team Malaysia and can be pleased with the progress we have made. There is a lot of work to do before Paul Ricard but we have made a positive start; running third fastest in this field of talent is fantastic by any standards. I'm delighted by what we did this week and I hope everyone in Malaysia will also be pleased."