A1 Team Malaysia was unable to add to its points tally in the third round of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, despite the best efforts of Alex Yoong on the streets of Beijing.

A number of mechanical issues in practice meant Yoong lined up on the grid for the feature race in 15th place on the grid and with limited - if any - overtaking opportunities, he was only able to make up a single place when Adrian Zaugg retired.

Starting from 14th place for the feature race as a result, Yoong had battled his way up to fifth place in the closing stages, but while fighting to hold off the challenge of James Hinchcliffe in the Team Canada car, he clipped the wall and was forced to retire.

"We kept it steady today and while many other cars around us dropped out of the race, we kept going," he said. "But although we were told before the race we would be penalised for short-cutting the chicane, I felt that many drivers were abusing this and it was hurting us. We just weren't as quick through this section by heeding this ruling. In the last few laps, with the car behind cutting through and being much quicker, I just pushed too hard, got on the dirty part of the track and clipped the wall. My day was over, and I'm gutted.

"After the lottery of yesterday which hurt our qualifying position, we managed to get through the field, only to fall off at the end, so I'm disappointed. However, I think we've shown that we have the pace, evidenced by going from the back to the front of the field, we have a really strong team, great pitwork and the ability to win again."

A1 Team Malaysia chief executive Jack Cunningham said he was happy with how the team had performed over a difficult weekend for the whole paddock, with the Malaysians now looking forward to the next round on home soil at Sepang.

"I am very proud of the team's performance today," he said. "We were dealt a poor hand yesterday with what happened in practice but our strategy worked just fine till Alex just misjudged the chicane in one of the very last laps. He and the team members are a little deflated but really there is nothing to feel bad about.

"To drive a car that had near no set up, for lap after lap, with such patience, waiting as car after car fell off is to his credit - an excellent performance from our 'Mr Professional' and a car that was prepared superbly by our technical team. By tomorrow morning I am sure the team members will have their heads up, coming back to KL to compete in the next A1GP event.

"We have every reason to feel confident, being fifth in the series. It's a long way round the world to April 27 next year so we must remain patient, doing our very best to score points whenever we can. This weekend it wasn't possible but I think you saw the depth of the spirit of our team this weekend."

 

Comments

Loading Comments...