Malaysia's Formula 1 driver, Alex Yoong is soaking up the welcomed break after his first full F1 season, doing all the things he missed in Kuala Lumpur. We caught up with him just outside Kuala Lumpur deep in the Malaysian jungle near the...
Malaysia's Formula 1 driver, Alex Yoong is soaking up the welcomed break after his first full F1 season, doing all the things he missed in Kuala Lumpur. We caught up with him just outside Kuala Lumpur deep in the Malaysian jungle near the foothills of Genting Highlands after a cross country run organised by the 'Hash Hound Harriers (HHH)". The HHH organises the jungle cross country runs of about 10 to 15km twice a week. Yoong hardly ever misses any of these runs whenever he's back in KL.
So, what have you been doing the past weeks, Alex?
"I've doing all those things that I missed during the season. Catching up with my friends and family as well as visiting my sponsors in between." said Yoong.
Last week Yoong also caught up with the Asian Conservation Awareness Programme (ACAP) community and did a TV promo to speak up for the endangered tigers. The TV promo shoot was conducted at the National Zoo in Kuala Lumpur. "The National Zoo is really looking great now. The last time I visited it was some 10 years back. Now with the trees and vegetation all mature, the whole ambience is now really great. It's worth a visit." enthused Yoong.
The ACAP shoot was the second charity role Yoong had participated in within two weeks as he played a charity soccer match with Westlife in aid of the Cancer Society of Malaysia at the end of October.
Yoong had confirmed earlier that he would be moving to the C.A.R.T. championship next season. This high profile series is run on oval tracks, street and road courses and run mainly in America with rounds also appearing in Mexico, Canada, England, Europe and Australia.
When asked when he's going to make the official announcement of the team he will be racing with, Yoong intimated, "There's no hurry to make the announcement. It's a comfortable situation and there's no shortage of offers. Rick (Gorne), my manager and I have narrowed it down to a few of the better teams we want to be with. I am also looking to try and get a testing role with a mid level F1 team to run alongside a full season in C.A.R.T. I don't know if that's possible but if it is, then it'll be ideal for me as it'll allow me to return to Formula 1 when the opportunity arises."
Yoong, whose father is a Malaysian Chinese, was asked how he felt about China's first Grand Prix scheduled for 2004. "I think it will be exciting. China is getting excited about motorsport in a big way and I think Formula 1 will be well received there."
What about the Minardi 2-seater event in Beijing? Are you going to be there? "Yes, I've been asked to be one of the drivers. I've got a lot of Chinese relatives from my father's side there and he has told me that some of them will be around for this event. I'm really looking forward to meeting them again. The last time I met them in China was when I raced in the streets of Zhuhai in 1994." replied Yoong.
The last time Yoong visited China was in 1994 when he won China's first ever open wheel race (Formula Asia) held in the mainland China. The return to China for the Minardi "Thunder in China" event on the 8th December would be like a second home-coming for the 26 year old Malaysian. The only Formula 1 driver from this part of Asia. With this we bid goodbye to Yoong.