FNIPPON: Yoong Fuji report

Malaysia's Alex Yoong had a difficult race in round 8 of the Formula Nippon Championship held in the Fuji Speedway yesterday when he finished 12th following a complete brake failure during lap 5 of the morning's 30 minutes warm-up session which ...

Malaysia's Alex Yoong had a difficult race in round 8 of the Formula Nippon Championship held in the Fuji Speedway yesterday when he finished 12th following a complete brake failure during lap 5 of the morning's 30 minutes warm-up session which resulted in him crashing into the barriers in turn 1.

"We lost valuable time setting the car up for the race in full fuel tank race condition in the warm up. The car's balance was not perfect and I had my rear locking up throughout the race. The brake balance control was not working so I was off the pace of the leaders. 12th was not what I had hoped for before the race but the brake failure in the morning plus a very sore neck didn't help at all." said Alex

In the morning's warm up, Alex's car lost brake fluid in the system before turn 1 on lap 5 at 300kph and had it not been for the gravel trap it would have been a much worse accident. As it was, Alex only suffered from a very sore neck and his car had suffered from a broken nose and front wing but the bigger loss was the set-up time lost for race condition for his car.

At the start, Alex lost a spot from 13th on the grid and had difficulty maintaining the position with strong pressure from Polish driver Jaroslaw Wierczuk.

Lap 13 saw the race red flagged when a horrific accident occurred to K. Kaneishi when he crashed into the wall after exiting the last corner when he tried to avoid a spinning S. Wakisaka. Kaneishi's car broke into 3 parts with the monocoque by the right hand pit wall, the engine in the center of the track and the gearbox on the left hand grass verge.

Drivers following Kaneishi, including Alex managed to avoid the flying debris thus preventing a bigger disaster.

At the re-start, leader Hideaki Noda, S.Motoyama and T. Takagi continued with their titantic strugger for the lead. Pit stops were made by most teams following the re-start with the PIAA-Nakajima team and the IMPUL team of Takagi and Motoyama doing better than Noda's Team LeMans.

The race was won again by T.Takagi with S.Motoyama second and S.Shibahara scoring his first podium at third. This was Takagi's seventh win in eight rounds with the championship already sewn up in the previous round.

The next round, round 9 of total 10 rounds will be run in the CP Mine circuit on the 17th Sept 2000.

Alex is sponsored by the fullflex RADIUS, TAG Heuer, Brylcreem, Pan Global Insurance, NeuroNet Malaysia and Malaysia Airlines. Team Malaysia, which Alex is running with is operated by the LeMans Co. with support from the Malaysian Ministry of Youth and Sports and Japan Race Promotions.

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Alex Yoong