Champ Car: Impressive debut 9th in Mexico for Alex Yoong. "Four points in my first race is very satisfying for me." Malaysia's first Formula 1 driver, Alex Yoong, made an impressive debut in the "Bridgestone Presents Champ Car World Series" this...
Champ Car: Impressive debut 9th in Mexico for Alex Yoong.
"Four points in my first race is very satisfying for me."
Malaysia's first Formula 1 driver, Alex Yoong, made an impressive debut in the "Bridgestone Presents Champ Car World Series" this Sunday when he chalked up his first points in his first race with 9th position and 4 points in the Tecate/Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix of Mexico.
Team owner of Team DCR, Dale Coyne, was estactic with Yoong's performance when he remarked, "Arriving on a Thursday for his seat fitting and racing in a Champ Car for the first time ever, with no turbo-charged power experience behind him and on a circuit he had never even seen before and to finish 9th out of 19 cars is a seriously impressive performance."
"Alex was very professional and level-headed when he went about his business this weekend. He never put a foot wrong and was quicker each time he went out in every session. He has a bright future in Champ Car," added Coyne.
Yoong had to start from the back after he had to pit before the green flag was shown to fix his seat belt, which had come loose during the formation lap.
He quickly moved up to 16th from 19th when he overtook a couple of cars in the first lap. Yoong made up positions in his pit-stops and drove a consistently good pace within seven to nine tenths of a second from the front-running pack. He held the 10th position from lap 60 after his second stop until the penultimate lap and finished 9th, capitalising on Jimmy Vasser's spin in the final lap.
"It was a hard race," said Yoong, who finished the 85-lap race with a time of 2h 03m 27.786s (the longest in his racing career). "I am very happy with the results and I'm glad I kept up my physical training even when no drive was in sight. Four points in my first race is very satisfying for me."
"My pace in the first half of the race was good and I found the grip level of the track better than in qualifying. After my first second stop, my throttle started sticking and the engine was misfiring, which made me ease off to preserve the car to the finish."
"I must thank Dale Coyne and the team for giving me this opportunity. I really enjoy racing in this series, which I consider to be most competitive," concluded Yoong.
Yoong's fastest race lap was 1m 17.469s(,) which was a second faster than his qualifying time.
Yoong's team-mate, Joel Camathias, also finished in the points garnering two for DCR with an 11th place finish.
The race winner was Paul Tracy who chalked up his second successive win. M. Jourdain and A. Tagliani finished on the podium, second and third respectively.
Points for the 1st to 12th position in the Champ Car World Series are awarded in the order of 20 for winning down to 16 for second and 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 down to 1 point for the 12th finisher.
Yoong currently lies in 15th position in the Championship and 7th in the Rookie-Of-The-Year standing despite having missed the first round in Florida last month.
The next round will be held in Long Beach, California on the 13th of April. Yoong will have to discuss with Dale Coyne whether he will remain with the team when Champ Car goes to Long Beach, while his management team continues their search for the necessary sponsorship that will allow Yoong to race in the rest of the Champ Car season.