A1 Team Malaysia had its best race weekend build-up of the A1 Grand Prix series so far in Portugal, running within the top ten for most of the practice sessions and qualifying in eighth place.

The team's strong performance continued in the Sprint race with a good pace throughout enabling driver Fairuz Fauzy to finish in eighth place and score three more valuable points for his nation. Fortunes were reversed in the main Feature race when a puncture resulted in severe body damage and forced Fauzy out of the race.

In the first race Fauzy started in eighth place, having run consistently well throughout the weekend. From the rolling start he got away well, but lost out to rival A1 Team Indonesia to run in ninth place. He retained this position for the majority of the race while avoiding a number of track incidents, but when A1 Team Indonesia slid wide in the closing stages Fauzy was able to retake his eighth place starting spot and kept this to the chequered flag.

In the second race, Malaysia started well, retaining the starting spot and then taking advantage of an early race incident to make a pit stop. Problems with a wheel nut on a rear wheel delayed the stop with Fairuz losing a lap to the rest of the field. The young racer was straight back on the pace and looking to progress back up through the field, but in the closing stages a puncture caused by track debris put A1 Team Malaysia out of the race.

Fauzy, driving for the team this weekend while Alex Yoong watched from the pit wall, commented after the feature race, "We had a good first race, managing to stay out of trouble and bring the car home in the points. Unfortunately the second race was a different story. Our strategy was to pit early, but when we changed the tyres there was a problem, so our stop was over a minute long.

"The car was very good in the race and I thought I would be able to finish in the top ten, but after the second safety car I had a slow puncture, which put me off in the last corner when I tried to push. It's racing, it happens, we'll be trying our best again in Australia, we'll never give up."

Jack Cunningham, team principal of A1 Team Malaysia added, "It is a slightly disappointing end to an otherwise good weekend. We'd been running so well and Fairuz had got to grips with the track both in the wet and the dry. The competition is so fierce in this series and we're fighting hard too, which is great for those watching the race. Sometimes results aren't always the ones you want but we are proud of our eighth position in race one. We'll be back out in Australia in two weeks time to try and get back in the points. The Australian race is broadcast live on TV in Malaysia so we hope to deliver a good result to our many fans."

 

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