Malaysia's Alex Yoong may have been the butt of many jokes during his Formula One tenure with Minardi a couple of years back but his performance in Sunday's second round of the A1 Grand Prix Series at the EuroSpeedway in Germany was anything but laughable as he tigered his way to sixth place in the sprint race and briefly held second in the main feature.

Two lightning fast starts from Yoong helped the Malaysian entry overcome a poor qualifying performance as Yoong gained 12 places on the first lap of the sprint race and a further four spots on the opening lap of the main feature.

Pit stop problems may have scuppered his chances of a decent finish in the feature race but Yoong display some real tenacity as he held on to sixth place in the sprint, defending his position from a group of cars including the Canadian and Italian entries.

That sixth place finish translated into a third row start for the 35 lap feature race and once again Yoong showed his starting prowess as he dived to the inside the snatch second away from Brazil's Nelson Piquet Jr on the opening corner. Although an off-track excursion and a troublesome pit stop would eventually lead to Yoong taking the chequered flag in 16th position, his sprint race display gave further proof that smaller, less fancied nations can compete with the best in this new concept.

"In the first race I knew it would be carnage into the first corner as it has a bad camber and I could see cars would slide into each other," said Yoong, who helped lift his country into ninth place in the overall championship with eleven points. "So I went to the outside, two cars went off and I was fifth, finally finishing sixth.

"For the second race I had another flying start and was up to second, I dropped back a bit after that, and unfortunately our pit stop wasn't too quick because of a wheel nut problem which I think is affecting quite a few of the teams. I am delighted to have added to our points tally for the Series, and we'll be back out in Portugal trying hard for more".

Jack Cunningham, team principal for the Malaysian entry added; "After difficult qualifying this weekend, we are extremely proud of the team's work this weekend. The result in the sprint race was excellent. Alex's work in the car to hold off the charges from behind him was very, very good for 13 nail biting laps.

"The final result of the main race brought mixed fortunes for A1 Team Malaysia this weekend in Germany, but that is the nature of Motorsport. We have a competitive car. We can run up the front and we now need to improve our consistency. "

 

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