Team Malaysia fired signal of its intent by setting the fourth-fastest lap time in free practice for this weekend's maiden A1GP outing in Mexico City, as the squad bids to regain its momentum following a disappointing showing in South Africa last month.

Malaysia slipped back to seventh in the nations' title chase after Durban, with an eighth place in the feature race the best it got courtesy of a first lap collision in the sprint and myriad other problems there on in. Mexico, the team is hoping, will bring rather better fortunes.

After Aaron Lim had taken to the track in the morning session, former grand prix driver Alex Yoong reclaimed the wheel in the afternoon, propelling the Malaysian entry right towards the top of the order around the technically-demanding circuit, new to virtually every driver on the grid.

"It was really good today; our best Friday of the season so far," the 30-year-old remarked afterwards. "We came here knowing we needed to be more competitive and get on the pace much quicker. We've changed a few things that we thought were the problem in the last couple of races and this has improved things for us. It's a good start and we've clearly made progress.

"The track is great, really fast and really challenging; it's good fun. The altitude isn't affecting me, but it does affect the performance of the car. You can feel the difference in the car; it's much slower, with the altitude sapping the engine, and it feels slow and sluggish, particularly on the front straight."

Lim, for his part, enjoyed his two 25-minute rookie sessions in the morning, steadily lowering his lap times while carrying out a number of routine engineering set-up tasks for the team. In the second period he even outpaced a couple of far more established A1GP regulars.

"I'm so excited to be involved with A1 Team Malaysia," Lim enthused, "and it's just been a great experience from the start of the weekend when I was off to a traditional Mexican 'Charros' with all the other drivers for a media event. The driving has though, of course, been the highlight for me. It's a great track, not very easy to drive, so it really tests my driving ability."

 

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