ALEX'S SPECTACULAR 5th IN FIRST F3000 RACE And receives offer for FIA International F3000 Pergusa, Sicily, Italy - Sunday, July 18th 1999 - Malaysia's top international race star, Alex Yoong shocked the field with a spectacular 5th position in...
ALEX'S SPECTACULAR 5th IN FIRST F3000 RACE And receives offer for FIA International F3000
Pergusa, Sicily, Italy - Sunday, July 18th 1999 - Malaysia's top international race star, Alex Yoong shocked the field with a spectacular 5th position in round 3 of the 1999 Italian F3000 Championship despite starting from 12th on the grid in The 4.950 km Pergusa Circuit today.
Immediately after the race Yoong was offered a full FIA International Formula 3000 drive in the coming weekend's round at the A1-Ring Austrian Formula 1 Grand Prix by his Monaco Motorsport Team boss Lamberto Leoni.
"I'm very impressed by Alex this weekend. He had so little running in the F3000 car this weekend and yet he drove like a veteran to move up 2 spots at the start and overtook 3 drivers ahead of him in the 25 lap race. His lap times were very consistent and kept improving throughout the race. He would have been on the podium if he had more running in the car and qualified higher on the grid. He can do the rest of the International F3000 Championship with us if he wishes to. The seat in my team is his." said Lamberto Leoni.
Yoong was himself greatly heartened by his performance, "I am happy and and very satisfied with the result, especially as I'd qualified so far back. I was especially pleased with my race pace cause as the race went on I was putting in laps as quick as the race leader. This makes me even more confident now of being able to give a good account of myself in the coming years towards Formula 1. I like to thank the Minister of Youth and Sports, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and my sponsors for making the F3000 program this year possible."
On the offer made by thee Monaco Motorsport Team, Yoong said "I am honoured by Lamberto's faith in me and the team had done a great job but I'll have to think about this as it's not easy to qualify for the International F3000 race. There are 42 very good drivers all capable and waiting for their F1 chance, fighting for 26 spots in each round of the FIA F3000 International Championship. What's more most of them have experience with F3000 at all the F1 circuits while I have to learn the circuit only during qualifying. I'll have to give it a good think over the next few days."
Round 3 of the 1999 Italian F3000 Championship today was won by Giorgio Vinella of Italy who is in his second year in F3000 with Briton Mark Shaw second, followed by Italy's Gabriele Lancieri third.
Indonesian star Ananda Mikola who qualified on pole unfortunately had been disqualified by the race stewards who judged that his team had presented an illegal car for the race.
The 1999 Italian F3000 Championship positions after 3 rounds are : 1. Vinella - 19 ; 2. Apicella, Battistuzzi - 10 ; 4. Shaw - 9 ; 5. Lupberger, Montin - 6 ; 7. Vilaamil - 5 ; 8. Martini - 3 ; 9. Yoong, Mikola, Manfredini - 2 ; 12. Moscatelli - 1 ;
The Alex Yoong Racing for Malaysia project which is a Malaysian government endorsed project is sponsored by The Ministry of Youth and Sports, Tourism Malaysia, Proton, Pan Global Insurance, Malaysia Airlines, SAMP, and Neuronet Malaysia.