Malaysia secured a popular double victory in the second round of the A1 Grand Prix Championship at Brno after Alex Yoong pulled off a late decisive move on long time leaders Canada to claim a clear feature race win.

It is a result that sees Malaysia leap up to third in the championship, the team recovering from their barren opening weekend at Zandvoort with a confident performance in the 38 lap race to go with their victory in the sprint event.

Tomas Enge thrilled home fans with an impressive drive to second place in his Czech Republic entry, while the ever consistent Salvador Duran secured his second podium in four races for Mexico.

With Malaysia leading Canada on the grid by virtue of the points system that decides the feature race grid based of qualifying time, sprint race result and fastest lap, it was second place James Hinchcliffe who got the better of Yoong from the standing start, sweeping across into the lead, closely followed by Malaysia, while France prevailed in a four abreast tussle into turn one with Mexico, Czech Republic and China.

However, Lapierre's hopes of claiming France's first win of the season came to a halt midway round the first lap when he slowed dramatically and pulled into the pits to retire from the race.

Mexico therefore inherited third, ahead of USA, Czech Republic and China, while Great Britain, Netherlands, Brazil and New Zealand rounded out the top ten at the end of lap two.

Indeed, Germany's Nico Hulkenberg had managed to get himself into ninth early on but slipped back behind New Zealand's Jonny Reid, the duo going on to embark on an exciting battle, made all the more interesting after their controversial coming together as they led into the first corner of the sprint race.

Nine laps was all it took for the first round of pit stops to start, with Enge the first to blink, the Czech team turning the ex-IRL driver round in impressive style to set him on his way in an attempt to make up some ground, an objective made all the easier when Philip Giebler suffered a disastrous pit stop, the American failing to recover and eventually finishing over a minute off the lead and well out of the points.

Leaders Canada and Malaysia, who by this point had a comfortable margin over the rest of the field, pitted on lap ten, coming out in the same order as they went in, but with Hinchcliffe claiming the advantage by eking out a comprehensive five second lead over Yoong.

However, far from deterred, it was a gap that Yoong continuously chipped away at and when Hinchcliffe resumed the lead of the race on lap 15, he was having to push to keep the gap up between the two drivers as he began to feel the pressure from the ex-Minardi driver. By lap 28 though, Yoong had broken down the gap and was now running nose to tail with the 19-year-old.

However, despite several feigned attempts at pass, Yoong left it till lap 33 to make his vital lunge, knocking Hinchcliffe off balance as he attempted to hold his rival off, only to clip the side of the Malaysian car and bounce off into a spin.

Although the lead he had over the chasing pack allowed him to continue in second place, Brno's traditionally dusty surface offline was making it hard to Hinchcliffe to clean his slick tyres, struggling for grip over several corners and losing position to Czech Republic, Mexico and Germany before finally recovering in fifth place.

For Yoong though it was now a foregone conclusion, repeating his win from earlier in the day, if in rather more competitive circumstances, crossing the line almost eight seconds up on second place Enge, who in turn records the best result for a home nation after Team Netherlands improved the marker with fourth at Zandvoort.

Duran crossed the line third for Mexico, holding off a late challenge from Hulkenberg, who had gradually risen through the ranks to finish an impressive, but perhaps frustrated fourth having begun the weekend on a high of taking second on the grid.

Hinchcliffe was a disappointed fifth, while Robbie Kerr took a somewhat underwhelming sixth place for Great Britain to keep them in the hunt at the higher end of the points table. Seventh for Jonny Reid was also perhaps not what New Zealand had in mind after their domination in qualifying.

Congfu Cheng followed up his fourth in the sprint race with eighth, ahead of Netherlands Jeroen Bleekemolen, while Sebastien Buemi claimed the final point in tenth, inheriting it off Tuka Rocha who spun out of the position midway through the race.

With four races down in quick succession, Germany remain top of the championship on 20 points, closely followed by Mexico and Malaysia, the trio separated by just three points, while Canada, Czech Republic and Great Britain are some way back already in joint fourth, each holding eleven points.

The series heads to China and the much anticipated Beijing street circuit for rounds five and six of the championship in November.



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