Fairuz Fauzy helped Malaysia to secure the early lead in the A1GP standings with a double podium finish in the opening rounds of the 2008/09 season at Zandvoort.
Fauzy stormed to victory in a shortened sprint race at the Dutch circuit and followed it up with a second place finish in the feature race to leave the Malaysians level at the top of the standings with former champions France.
The Malaysian team made up a place straightaway at the start of the sprint race when Adam Carroll suffered a spin coming out of the final turn, although Fauzy dropped back to fourth place after being passed by Neel Jani. However, having battled past the Swiss star, Fauzy chased down Jeroen Bleekemolen and then overhauled Earl Baber for the lead before the race was red-flagged due to an accident for Team Brazil.
“It's a tremendous win for the team today,” team boss Jack Cunningham said. “Everyone has put so much effort into preparing the car and being ready for this event, so to take the win makes it a very special occasion. Fairuz drove superbly, in some of the most difficult weather we've seen, and I'm delighted for everyone in the team and for our commercial partners who have been so supportive.”
Fauzy started from pole for the feature race and led through the early stages as he took advantage of a clear track to pull away before making an early trip to the pits for his first mandatory stop.
France's decision to pit late allowed Loic Duval to take the lead of the race and Fauzy remained behind him through the second stops to the finish of the race, which came behind the Safety Car after an incident involving Lebanon and China.
“I am so happy to take this win,” he said, looking back to his earlier success. “It was very difficult on the track today and made even more challenging with the lack of experience we have with this new car, but we have worked really hard as a team and now we have a fantastic win.
“It's been a dream start to the season for A1 Team Malaysia. We were certainly hoping to have a good performance here, and two podiums is just great. The weather conditions were treacherous today, which made it difficult for all of us, but that makes it all the more rewarding. There is something extra special when you are driving for your nation, so I'm very proud of our achievements today.
“It's been a real team effort and I'm delighted that we are leaving Zandvoort leading the championship.”