Malaysia's bests come together for the first time SHANGHAI: Malaysia's most successful race driver, Alex Yoong, is excited by the prospect of teaming up with Asia's most successful racing team for this year's GP2 Asia Championship. Yoong, ...
Malaysia's bests come together for the first time
SHANGHAI: Malaysia's most successful race driver, Alex Yoong, is excited by the prospect of teaming up with Asia's most successful racing team for this year's GP2 Asia Championship.
Yoong, Malaysia's first, and so far only Formula One driver, has agreed terms with My Qi-Meritus.Mahara, who will compete in the GP2 Asia for the second consecutive season.
"Meritus are without doubt the most successful racing team in Malaysia, if not in the whole of Asia. I'm both excited and delighted to be part of their team," said Yoong, who completed two days of testing in the My Qi- Meritus.Mahara GP2 car in Shanghai today.
"I had not been in a race car since April for the A1 race but I'm pleased to have taken part in the tests as it allowed me to get the feel of the new car and shake off some rust.
"The big advantage for me is that I know the Shanghai circuit very well and even had a win here in A1. I hope to use my knowledge of the circuit for the first GP2 Asia races next weekend.
"Meritus had a relatively successful debut GP2 Asia season last year and I'm confident we can do even better this year as the guys have been working around the clock for the past four months to get everything ready for the new season."
Yoong, who has been driving since he was 15, was contracted with Minardi F1 team for the end of the 2001 World Championship season. He subsequently went on to race for Minardi in the 2002 season as well and 15 races in Formula 1 in 2001 and 2002 yielded best results of a seventh in the 2002 Australian Grand Prix and a 10th in the 2002 French Grand Prix.
Among his other achievements are eight wins in Formula Asia, a second place finish in British Formula 3 in 1998, runner-up spots in the European Formula 3000 in 1998 and in the Monaco Historic F1 Grand Prix in 2002, as well as a win in the Macau Grand Prix Porsche Carrera Cup Asia race.
Yoong has since ventured into running his own team - Proton Axle Racing - and his drivers Syafiq Ali and Faidzil Alang were first and second in the inaugural Asian Touring Car Super 1500Max Challenge Championship.
Asked what prompted him to return to racing, Yoong replied: "Although I'm now running my own team, I have always loved driving and want to do it for as long as I can.
"The chance to work with Meritus was too good an opportunity to pass up and I'm delighted to compete in the GP2 Asian Series and to be part of the only truly Asian team in the championship."
My Qi-Meritus.Mahara team boss Firhat Mokhzani said: "Alex brings a lot of experience to the team and is an excellent driver who will surely be a great asset to us.
"We wanted a strong driver who knows his way round cars and Alex fits the bill perfectly. We are delighted to have Malaysia's most successful racer driving for the country's most successful racing team."
The first leg of the six-round Asian GP2 series is in Shanghai from Oct 17- 19.
-credit: my qi-m.m