Alex Yoong to make Champ Car World Series debut this weekend as he takes Dale Coyne Racing seat at Monterrey. MONTERREY, Mexico (March 20, 2003) -- One of the Far East's brightest racing stars will make his Champ Car World Series debut a little...
Alex Yoong to make Champ Car World Series debut this weekend as he takes Dale Coyne Racing seat at Monterrey.
MONTERREY, Mexico (March 20, 2003) -- One of the Far East's brightest racing stars will make his Champ Car World Series debut a little earlier than planned as Alex Yoong will take over the controls of the #11 Dale Coyne Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone for this weekend's Tecate/Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix.
Yoong will make his first start in the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford in Sunday's 105-lap event in Monterrey's Fundidora Park. Yoong takes over the #11 car from Roberto Gonzalez, who finished 17th in the season opener in St. Petersburg.
"We've talked to Alex on and off and we have a lot of faith in his abilities," said car owner Dale Coyne. "We've had drivers from Minardi in the past with Tarso Marques and we feel they are well prepared. It's going to be tough initially with no testing but we think that Alex will come up to speed quickly."
Yoong comes to Champ Cars after running a full season of Formula 1 competition last year, competing with the Minardi F1 squad, where he earned a top finish of seventh in the season opener in Australia. The 26-year-old native of Kuala Lumpur is the only Malaysian driver to have competed in Formula 1 and is the first non-Japanese from the Asian continent to drive in F1 since the 1950s.
"This came together quite late but when Dale called and said that there was a possibility that the ride might be open, I jumped on a plane straight away," Yoong said. "It's going to be a bit of an uphill battle but I think with my experience in Formula 1, it shouldn't be that much of a problem. It will take me a little while to find out how to make the car fast, but I don't think it will be that much of a problem."
The Champ Car rookie will have a teammate to lean on in Joel Camathias, the Swiss rookie that made his first series start in St. Peteresburg last month, bringing the #19 Coyne machine home in ninth place. Yoong will be making his first Champ Car laps Friday morning when the opening practice sessions for Sunday's race get started. You can follow the progress of Champ Car's newest driver and the rest of the field via live timing and scoring on www.champcarworldseries.com.
Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford. Veteran racing teams such as Newman/Haas Racing, Player's/Forsythe Racing, Team Rahal, Patrick Racing and Walker Racing will compete with many new teams this year in pursuit of the Vanderbilt Cup. CART Champ Cars are thoroughbred racing machines that reach speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour, showcasing the technical expertise of manufacturers such as Ford Motor Company, Lola Cars, Reynard Motorsport and Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, LLC. The 18-race 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford will be broadcast by television partners CBS, and SPEED Channel. CART also owns and operates its top development series, the Toyota Atlantic Championship. Learn more about CART's open-wheel racing series at www.champcarworldseries.com.