Alex Yoong converted Team Malaysia's dominant pole position into a similarly convincing victory in Mexico City's sprint race today, as all three championship protagonists came unstuck.

The former grand prix star was never once headed around the technically-demanding circuit, ultimately coming home just over two seconds clear of rookie Oliver Jarvis in the Team GB entry. While the soon-to-be Japanese F3 ace shadowed Yoong for the entire race distance, he never truly threatened to steal the top spot, leaving the Malaysian to canter away to a comfortable win and put himself on pole position for tomorrow's all-important feature race.

There was a further four-second gap back to third place at the chequered flag, where perhaps championship leader Germany and defending title-holder France should have been, but Christian Vietoris was eliminated immediately after becoming caught up in a startline collision between Brazil's Bruno Junqueira and local favourite Salvador Duran on his race debut in the series, and Jean-Karl Vernay dropped out of third place on lap three.

Their misfortune allowed Ian Dyk to claim an impressive third place on his A1GP racing bow, with South African Adrian Zaugg narrowly holding off US ace Jonathan Summerton for fourth and Team China's Ho-Pin Tung rounding out the final points-scoring positions.

Enrico Toccacelo (Italy), Ananda Mikola (Indonesia), rookie Renger van der Zande (Netherlands) and Marcel Fassler (Switzerland) completed the top ten.

Alvaro Parente of Team Portugal was another high-profile casualty, pitting at the end of lap two and eventually crossing the finish line 15th, while New Zealand star Jonny Reid's miserable run since qualifying continued after he too was forced to pit early on and wound up 16th, just ahead of a hard-charging Duran, who set fastest lap during his recovery drive. All three - along with Vietoris and Vernay - will have to start at the back of the grid in the feature race, and with both title glory and home pride at stake, fireworks are most certainly in store.

 

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