CHINESE CHALLENGE FOR A1 TEAM MALAYSIA A new venue for the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport greets A1 Team Malaysia this weekend with the fourth round of the competition taking place in Zhuhai, China, the first of two visits to the country this ...
CHINESE CHALLENGE FOR A1 TEAM MALAYSIA
A new venue for the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport greets A1 Team Malaysia this weekend with the fourth round of the competition taking place in Zhuhai, China, the first of two visits to the country this season. Drivers Alex Yoong and Aaron Lim will experience this permanent circuit for the first time in an A1GP car with neither having driven the track prior to this event.
Yoong has visited Zhuhai, traveling to the province in 1994 for the first international motor race to be held in China. The track back then was a street track and it was for GT cars. He competed in Formula Asia where he had pole position and won the race. With this achievement the history books show Yoong as the first winner of an international single seater race in China!
The Zhuhai International Circuit was completed in 1996, on the southern coast of the GuangDong province of the People's Republic of China. Since this time it has hosted international sportscar races, as well as national and regional championships. The city lies close to Hong Kong and Macau, attracting a wide audience of motor racing enthusiasts in the region. This first A1GP race is expected to bring a new and highly patriotic audience supporting many of the 22 countries represented on the grid of the Series.
Yoong says of the team's prospects for the race weekend, "We made some strides at our home race in Sepang, finally putting some points on the board and getting our championship challenge underway. We've been slow off the mark, but I'm expecting us to build on the efforts and advances that we made in Malaysia and carry the momentum through to this event. We have such a strong team spirit and the utmost commitment to doing the very best we can. This commitment should be reaping rewards as we target to add to our points tally.
"A new track is always a great leveller. None of the teams have any data for the A1GP car here so it'll be all-new and a very complete test for everyone in the team. Aaron will be important for providing the initial feedback and setup direction and the engineering team will have their work cut out using this information and that from my sessions, to quickly develop the car to be as quick as possible. New challenges are always welcome and we'll see how we fare on Friday when we start racing."
Lim says of his first A1GP outing at Zhuhai, "I think the value of having a rookie at a track like this will be higher than some of the places where A1GP has raced for two years. The team will be relying on me to give them the initial data and with all the teams in a race against the clock to find the optimum set up as quickly as possible, my input will be very important. I've had a few race weekends now, so I'm a little more experienced, so it is not such a daunting task as it would have been at the beginning of the season. I think the circuit will be good and I'm looking forward to doing my job here."
A1 Team Malaysia Chief Executive, Jack Cunningham adds of his team's preparations for the weekend, "I know the team has done as much homework as possible prior to arriving in Zhuhai, but nothing matches up to real track experience. I know Aaron will be relishing the chance to play an important role and we're pleased to be nurturing him with opportunities like this. We made some progress in Sepang and I think this will have given the team the impetus to keep up their high standards, keep on doing what they do best and persevering to bring back those results. We're hopeful of a good, solid weekend of racing that produces more points for the team."
The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, Zhuhai, China, starts tomorrow with the morning rookie session driven by Lim. Yoong will take over the driving seat on Friday afternoon for the first general practice session. Saturday will be final practice and qualifying, preceding the two A1GP races on Sunday, a short Sprint and a longer Feature race.