Alex Yoong is hoping to help Team Malaysia put a difficult start to the current A1GP campaign behind it this weekend, as the outfit looks not only to break the 'jinx' on countries competing on home turf, but indeed break its 2007/08 points duck.

The Malaysian entry has yet to mount the rostrum in front of its partisan supporters at Sepang, and Yoong's best result of the four races to-date this season has been a distant 14th place in the Brno feature outing. This time twelve months ago the squad already had no fewer than 30 points and a double victory on the board.

"What a difference a year makes!" the former grand prix star acknowledged. "This time last season we'd had a pole position and two wins; this season we've still to score a point. I'm not too concerned at this stage though - it's a long season and we all know what we need to do to change around our fortunes. There's no better place to make that happen than at your home race, so that's exactly what we'll be setting out to do.

"Historically in A1GP the home nation hasn't had their best performances on their own ground, but we're determined to change all that. We're going all-out to put in the best performances we can in every session of the weekend. The first two race weekends are in the past; all we're focused on now is bringing pride to Malaysia for trying our hardest to race as best as we can."

Yoong well knows he has the hopes of an entire nation resting on his shoulders, but he will be ably supported in Kuala Lumpur by the team's rookie ace Aaron Lim, who is clearly looking forward to the opportunity to perform in front of his home crowd as part of the prestigious nation vs nation series.

"It's very special to drive in front of your home nation," enthused the 22-year-old, "so I'm really excited about being out on the Sepang circuit on Friday. It's a track I know well as I've grown up here, but this weekend will be my first experience of it in the A1GP car.

"I hope my knowledge of the track will help me with my work on the car development in preparation for the races on Sunday, and that I can show the team, the local fans and my peers the potential I have to be racing for my nation in A1GP in the future."

Ahead of the weekend the two drivers, car and technical crew have all been busy promoting the home race. Yoong and Lim travelled to Borneo to show some of their rivals the home of orang-utans and the work that is done for their conservation, as well as taking on more A1GP drivers in a flat-water canoeing sprint race at Putrajaya.

"We are given tremendous support by our Malaysian fans throughout the season wherever we're racing," underlined A1 Team Malaysia chief executive Jack Cunningham, "so we are always pleased when the series arrives in our town and we have the chance to showcase A1GP and A1 Team Malaysia in our own country.

"As a team we haven't had the start we expected this season, but we're working hard to improve on our performances. We want to repay our loyal fans and partners with two really strong race results, but we also know that every one of the other 21 nations will be fighting hard to bring their country success.

"The competition is very strong, with any of eight or nine teams capable of winning. I know that Alex, Aaron and everyone in A1 Team Malaysia are looking forward to being at home in Sepang, and we hope we'll see plenty of our supporters flying our flag around the track throughout the weekend."

 

Comments

Loading Comments...