FNIPPON: Alex Yoong Motegi qualifying

Malaysia's Alex Yoong made a superb effort on his third set of fresh tyres to climb from the first session's 10th position to 7th on the grid with a time of 1m 34.840s in the TwinRing Motegi circuit where the second round of the 2001 Formula...

Malaysia's Alex Yoong made a superb effort on his third set of fresh tyres to climb from the first session's 10th position to 7th on the grid with a time of 1m 34.840s in the TwinRing Motegi circuit where the second round of the 2001 Formula Nippon championship will be run tomorrow.

Post qualifying inspection revealed a technical violation on the part of Seija Ara car. His time was dissallowed, and he was moved to the back of the grid. This elevated Alex to the sixth starting position.

Alex was only six tenths of a second from poleman Motoyama in the two tightly fought qualifying sessions today.

"I am very happy for my management team back home and for the LeMans team's personnel here who have all kept faith with me. They all deserved this result which is long overdue. My regret is that I could have got on the second row in my 4th set of tyres but my flying lap had to be aborted on account of traffic." said Yoong.

"The boys did a fantastic job with the car. I had mid corner understeer in the first session but we managed to dialed it out and the car had good balance by the end of the second session."

Team IMPUL's Satoshi Motoyama grabbed pole in fine style with a time of 1m 34.221s from Team AGURI's Juichi Wakisaka less than three tenths in second and Japan's Seiji Ara of Team CERUMO another two tenths away in third.

India's Narain Kartthikeyan who won the Korean F3 Grand Prix last November, could only manage 15th out of 21 cars with a time of 1m 35.555s, seven tenths of a second behind Alex and will start from row 8 in tomorrow's race which will be run over 45 laps.

Alex's team mate Yudai Igarashi qualified 12th in a time of 1m 35.241s while Macau's Andre Couto and Macau GP winner qualified 19th with 1m 36.419s.

"A mere one second separated the top 12 qualifiers and this will make the race most interestingly tight tomorrow." added Yoong.

Alex's manager Hanifah Yoong could not make it to Motegi this round but was watching the race's live data from the official website at http://www.f-nippon.co.jp/indexe.html from Kuala Lumpur. He said, "Alex's change of luck will be hopefully with him tomorrow. He really deserves it. Alex is very under rated due to some bad luck at the tailend of last season. He'll give us a good show when all the factors fall in their right places and hopefully it will be tomorrow."

The race will start at 2.30pm (Japan time) on Sunday 22nd April and is expected to be about 1hr 15 minutes long.

-AYR

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Seiji Ara , Alex Yoong , Satoshi Motoyama , Juichi Wakisaka , Yudai Igarashi , Andre Couto