Fairuz Fauzy believes that the competitiveness in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport has risen both on and off the track.

The popular Malaysian driver returned to the series in early February, racing for his nation in Sydney, Australia and again in Durban, South Africa.

Prior to that, he had last driven the team's A1GP race car over 12 months ago - participating in a practice session in Taupo. Coming back into the series he was impressed with what he saw.

"When you walk in the paddock there's an air of confidence around it that wasn't so evident when I was last here," he noted. "The teams are all so focused on putting in the best possible performance that they are looking at every opportunity to beat the other nations.

"This is particularly noticeable in the engineering department. The team knows so much more about the car now, that they are focusing on the detail rather than the overall car. This is a result of the increasingly close levels of performance that we're seeing on the track, the teams are now needing to find tenths of a second in their performance level as that can make the difference between a top five lap time or a top ten lap time."

A1GP is currently in its third season of competition and with A1 Team Malaysia having completed over 5000 km of racing, there's now plenty of experience to draw on, yet with all the other teams having similar levels of knowledge, finding the competitive edge is a complex task.

"With so little differentiation between the teams, we're seeing just how tough it is to be the best," he continued. "Everyone has the same car and engine, but there are still many variables which can make the difference between winning and losing.

"One of the most obvious changes that I've seen coming back is the quality of drivers. Malaysia currently really has only Alex and me as racers with the level of experience to compete with the other top guys in this series.

"We are seeing some of the European teams bringing in highly talented youngsters who are increasing the competitiveness, hungry for success and adding to the battlefield. It's very refreshing and challenging for us all and good for the series."

As for A1 Team Malaysia itself, Fauzy is pleased with the changes he has seen in the team: "The level of professionalism that everyone is operating at is higher than it was last season and that gives me confidence and makes it easier to do my job. The team is a match for any of the other teams in all areas, whether it's strategy, mechanical operations, pit stops, or engineering, despite having had a difficult season so far.

"The fight for wins in this series is just so tight that it's wide open to the majority of the teams. We've seen title contenders France qualifying 17th one weekend and on pole the next, I think that just demonstrates this. One thing is for sure, Malaysia is battling as hard as any of the teams for a win," he summed-up.



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