WPS Racing's Alex Yoong has returned to the Formula One arena, this time to race in a support event at this weekend's inaugural F1 grand prix in China.

Yoong will be lining up on the starting grid in the Porsche Carerra Cup Asia, making him the first of the V8 Supercar Championship Series drivers to compete at the impressive new Shanghai International Circuit.

Just two months ago Yoong became the first V8 Supercar series driver to spin around the Shanghai track when he did some test laps in one of the WPS Racing Ford Falcons as part of the launch of next year's V8 Supercar round at the circuit.

On that occasion he was accompanied by Queensland Premier Peter Beattie and only drove on a small section of the circuit.

However, this week Yoong will have a greater opportunity to get a feel for the track before the V8 Supercars thunder into Shanghai in June 2005.

He will be lining up for practice on Friday, qualifying on Saturday and the main race on Sunday.

"It is great to be part of the first F1 grand prix in China," said Yoong.

"I have always had great support from the Chinese, particularly during my F1 days, so it is good to be here and be part of the whole experience.

"I was invited to compete in the Carerra Cup race and it gives me the perfect opportunity to be part of the whole F1 event."

Yoong, who drove in Formula One in 2002 and 2003 with the European-based Minardi team, will be driving a Mobil 1-sponsored car in the Porsche race.

However, he will also be flying the V8 Supercar flag as the car will carry joint sponsorship from Australian businessman Craig Gore's WPS Racing team - the same team Yoong drives for in the V8 Supercar Championship Series.

"Part of the reason I am here is to help promote next year's V8 Supercar race and the inclusion of the WPS Racing livery on the car certainly helps me do that," said Yoong.

He will also participate in various off-track V8 Supercar promotions, most notably a trackside display designed to educate the Chinese about next year's race.

"The Chinese are very enthusiastic about this weekend's racing so it should give us some indication how the V8s will be received next year," said Yoong.

Following the weekend racing Yoong will briefly return to his home town of Kuala Lumper, in Malaysia, before returning to Australia.

He will travel to WPS Racing's Gold Coast home base for a test session ahead of the much anticipated Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 at Bathurst's Mount Panorama from October 7-10.



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