TVR Team Malaysia made a successful debut in Malaysia's motorsports scene when they achieved a second overall win with lead driver Alex Yoong in the first ever Merdeka Millenium 12Hour Endurance Race held at Malaysia's Formula 1 circuit at Sepang ...
TVR Team Malaysia made a successful debut in Malaysia's motorsports scene when they achieved a second overall win with lead driver Alex Yoong in the first ever Merdeka Millenium 12Hour Endurance Race held at Malaysia's Formula 1 circuit at Sepang today.
Alex in car no. 6 which also romped home with the fastest time of the race of 2m 36.691s clocked by Alex in the late in the last hour of the race.
Partnering Alex were Malaysian Rally Champion Saladin Mazlan, 22 and 25 year old former Formula Renault racer Adam Lokman.
Team Manager Yong YoonLi was over the moon with the team's 100% finish when car 7 driven by Admi Shahrol/Jeff Wong/Ron Lim also endured the grueling 12 hour race to come home fifth out of 56 starters, "We are so happy with the results. Thanks to Alex who really showed us what professional driving is all about. He was very controlled and very quick when we needed to be. The whole team has done a fantastic job."
Alex said after the race, "I was very worried that the TVR may not stand up to rigorous driving for 12 hours of the race as the team's entry was made at the very last weeks of the race. I drove to conserve the car in my first 3 one hour stints and am very glad for the team that the TVR stood up well in the final hour even when pushed to the limit. The fastest lap achieved by us was very satisfying."
"The TVR team has worked very hard and has a bright racing future in Malaysia. The only thing lacking is the race experience. This race was handicapped badly by the tyre compound choice. We had the hardest road version compound and worst road going thread pattern amongst all the competing cars in our class. We only used one new set and one old set of tyres in the 250 laps and 12 hours of racing and 10 compulsory pit stop calls. The car was very good but very difficult and physical to drive. If we had used the same tyres as the winner (Mitsubishi 4x4 Lancer Evo5 turbo) we would have walked it." added Alex.
The TVR team was only one lap behind in the 7th hour when a stubborn brakes caliper lost them another 3 laps during a routine stop for brake pads and tyres change. It eventually finished 3 laps from the winner when it made up a lap in the final hour to finish the race in 250 laps of the 5.54km Sepang circuit.
Team PERT now into their 12th racing season, won the race with sole entry car no.3 Mitsubishi Lancer 4x4 Evo5 Turbo driven by Karamjit Singh, Jimmy Low and Tommy Lee of Malaysia. Team Lotus car no 9 driven by Glen Zampatti and Ross Zampatti of Australia and Marcus Chye of Malaysia was third another 11 laps down from the TVR of Alex Yoong.
Team Advisor Kiyoshi Misaki who was specially flown in from Japan to help the team with drivers management said that all 3 drivers Adam Lokman. Saladin and Alex Yoong were very professional and had followed team strategies with great discipline. It was not easy for them as they had to maintain the pace with all the traffic of much slower cars without over working the rear differentials and gearbox. We had prepared to change the gearbox but they were all so smooth, we avoided that. A job very well done by all and I honestly expect a great future for the TVR team. This is my first visit to Malaysia since 21 years ago when I used to race in Batu Tiga and Penang. I love to return again."
"Alex Yoong's participation in the TVR was made possible only one week before the race by sponsors TVR Malaysia, RentakAsia and DiGi Telecommunications. We thank them on behalf of Alex's fans for the pleasure to be able to see Alex in action in Malaysia for the first time in 4 years." said Alex's Manager Hanifah Yoong.