Mine City, Japan - Sunday, 21st May 2000 - Malaysia's Alex Yoong qualified a splendid 12th on the grid with a time of 1m 16.023s in his first ever visit to the southern Honshu Island circuit in Mine City for round 3 of the 2000 Formula ...
Mine City, Japan - Sunday, 21st May 2000 - Malaysia's Alex Yoong qualified a splendid 12th on the grid with a time of 1m 16.023s in his first ever visit to the southern Honshu Island circuit in Mine City for round 3 of the 2000 Formula Nippon Championship yesterday.
"Considering that he had not have the benefit of a test at the Mine Circuit before, Alex has put in a very creditable performance" said K. Homma, the team Director of Team Malaysia.
Alex said, he was still getting familiar with the circuit towards the end of the two forty-five minute qualifying sessions. "I find the Mine Circuit very tight but challenging. My best lap on the second session was aborted at the last corner because of traffic. I was then three tenths up from my best time according to my computer data. It would have put me in a couple of spots higher had it not been the traffic. But I'm not disappointed. I'll look forward to the race tomorrow."
The race will be a test of fitness for the 19 qualifiers out of 20 entries. It will be run over 63 laps of the 3.33 km tight twisting Mine Circuit and is expected to be about 1 hour 20 minutes long.
"I have to concentrate to stay out of trouble especially for the first few laps as I've seen from the past years' results, the attrition rate is pretty high." added Alex.
Toranasuke Takagi of Team PIAA grabbed his third pole in as many starts with a time of 1m 14.711s while Alex's LeMans teammate, Hideki Noda was second with 1m 14.828s. Team ARTA's Juichi Wakisaka was third at 1m 14.923s.
Alex Yoong's participation in Team Malaysia is a joint venture project between Malaysia and Japan Race Promotion to enhance cooperation amongst Asian countries and promote motor sports development in Asia.
The sponsors of Alex Yoong and Team Malaysia are the Malaysian Ministry of Youth and Sports, Japan Race Promotion, LeMans Company of Japan, TAG Heuer, Malaysia Airlines, Brylcreem, Pan Global Insurance, HappySize and Fullflex Corporation.