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Alex Yoong honored with Bruce McLaren trophy
Alex Yoong, has been announced as the 2006 winner of the British Racing Drivers’ Club Bruce McLaren Trophy.

This accolade is awarded each year to a driver residing in the Commonwealth who has established the most meritorious performances in international motor racing.

Yoong’s strong performance in the inaugural season of the A1GP series was recognized by the BRDC resulting in the Malaysian driver being honored by the organization.

Yoong joins an impressive roster of previous award winners including Mark Webber (Australia), Jacques Villeneuve (Canada), Paul Tracy (Canada), Tomas Scheckter (South Africa) and Jonny Reid (New Zealand).

The BRDC, with former Formula One World Champion, Damon Hill, as its President, is a highly respected organization, with the membership limited to drivers with international success over a number of seasons.

The trophy was originally presented to Bruce McLaren for finishing in 2nd place in the 1965 Canadian Grand Prix at Mosport. After he passed away, Pat McLaren presented it to the BRDC to give to the best commonwealth driver of each year.

The significance of the trophy is increased by the recent announcement, during the last A1GP event in New Zealand, of a motion picture to commemorate the life of Bruce McLaren. In front of a host of motor racing legends including Emerson Fittipaldi, Sir Jack Brabham, Chris Amon and Bruce’s widow, Pat, and daughter, Amanda, the plans were outlined for the movie about the only driver to have won Formula 1 World Championship races, the Le Mans 24 Hours, the Indianapolis 500, CanAm and Tasman championships. The movie has some of the biggest names from the business involved in the project with its producer being Barrie M Osborne, who produced not only the Academy Award winning and The Lord of the Rings, but also The Matrix and The Big Chill.

The valuable trophy will be presented to Yoong later this year and the Malaysian driver is looking forward to this occasion. He says, “I’m very proud to have been awarded this trophy and to join so many great names in being a recipient; it’s a huge honor for me. Last year was a very exciting year for me, with the birth of A1GP World Cup of Motorsport giving me a unique opportunity to return to international racing. I’m delighted that my achievements have been recognized and I must thank everyone at A1 Team Malaysia for all their hard work, as they have certainly contributed to my success and have played a key role in my winning this trophy.”

Alex Yoong began his racing career in Formula Asia, over ten years ago. After two years in his ‘local’ championship he moved to Europe to progress up the motorsport ladder. Competing in British Formula Renault in 1996- 7, the young Malaysian then progressed to British Formula 3. He graduated to Formula 3000 and on to Formula Nippon before his breakthrough to Formula One.

As Malaysia’s only race driver to reach the pinnacle of motor racing, Yoong drove for Minardi in 2001 and 2002. His career continued in Champ Cars and Australian V8’s before becoming a significant contributor to the A1GP Series.

The full list of previous winners is as follows:

1970 Denny Hulme
1971 Tim Schenken
1972 – No Award
1973 Franck Gardner
1974 John Nicholson
1975-1980 Alan Jones
1981 Geoff Brabham
1982-83 Vern Schuppan
1984-85 Mike Thackwell
1986 Denny Hulme
1987 Mike Thackwell
1988 Geoff Brabham
1989 David Brabham
1990 Paul Tracy
1991 David Brabham
1992 – No Award
1993 Geoff Brabham
1994 Paul Tracy
1995-1997 Jacques Villeneuve
1998 Mark Webber
1999 Tomas Scheckter
2000-2001 Mark Webber
2002 Alex Davison
2003 Scott Dixon
2004 Jonny Reid

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