Yoong gives Malaysia third win in sprint race
Mexico City, Mexico - A1 Team Malaysia's Alex Yoong has made it a double pole weekend winning the Sprint race at the A1GP Mexico City, Mexico. A dominant drive saw Alex Yoong clearly demonstrate his racing experience making a clean start off the grid and retaining the top position which he held throughout the race. Yoong was joined on the podium by Great Britain and Australia whose driver Ian Dyk was making his debut in an A1GP race.
As the bright yellow car of Yoong pulled off the grid the action began right behind him. Host team Mexico and neighboring Brazil collided, pushing the Brazilian car over the nose of the Mexican and into championship leaders Germany. While Germany and Brazil were forced into early retirement, Salvador Duran managed to get the Mexican car back to the pits. The team made some quick repairs in time to get the car back out on track where Duran recorded the fastest lap of the race in a time of 1.27.534.
By the start of the second lap, Malaysia was leading Great Britain, France, Portugal and South Africa who had cut an impressive path through the start line incident from 11th place on the grid. But the impact of the starting action was still to affect other teams as Portugal picked up a puncture from the debris, forcing them into the pits for a tire change and costing them a good Feature race grid position. France was the next victim as the 'tricolor' car pulled off the track on lap three, which meant a disappointing result for the young rookie whose early promise had seen him qualify fifth in his first A1GP weekend.
With Portugal and France out of the running, Australia stepped into third with South Africa behind and the USA, with Jonathan Summerton back in the car after his Durban crash, catching up fast. New Zealand were making their way up the grid from 14th edging towards the points and a strong start to the Feature race. Unfortunately the team, who are now the only ones who can challenge Germany's title hopes, also fell victim to the debris on track and slowed letting the rest of the field pass before pitting at the end of lap four with a front puncture.
The race settled and, keen not to risk their Feature race starting positions, the teams fell into line and the race continued without a hitch. However for A1 Team Australia, the end of the race was not to be the end of the action. Driver Ian Dyk, badly bruised his ankle as he hopped over the concrete wall leaving parc ferme. He has been seen by the medical team who have strapped up his ankle and is all set to get back in the car this afternoon.
Taking his third victory of the 2006/07 season, Malaysia's Alex Yoong said: 'I was not aware of what was happening behind me as I only saw the carnage on the next lap. There was a lot of debris and I was surprised they did not call the safety car. But I just got through okay. I am hoping to win the Feature race but I think one or two others want to do the same. The tires went in a slightly different direction to that I thought they would during the race but we can sort this for the next one.'
Second placed Oliver Jarvis, who will be looking to repeat his Beijing Feature race podium finish, said: 'Alex started on new tires so he had a very good first couple of laps. The gap stayed fairly constant between us, I just settled myself in and was looking for a good result. I kept with him for a couple of laps. We will make a few changes but I don't think it is that necessary as we will be on new tires . Alex did a great job so well done for him as he made no mistakes. I was glad to be second and didn't push too hard as it is the second race that counts.'
Australia's Ian Dyk commented: 'The start was certainly crazy. I had a reasonably easy run from the inside off nine and I got by a car that went off and was not even sure who it was, but there was blue smoke and brown dust everywhere. I managed to hold the inside line and South Africa came from somewhere so I followed him through and arrived in turn one safely so that was important. I got out of the car and crashed over the concrete barrier. I am able to drive fast but can't walk very well now.'
After the start line incident there were several versions of what happened according to which driver was talking. Mexico's Salvador Duran's version of the events was: 'I think Germany made a very bad start. When we went he was maybe still on the brakes. Then I saw Bruno on the inside and he had a lot more speed and I was not going to challenge him as I had a lot less speed. On my left I had Germany and I was in the middle of them. I think Germany had a lot of space on the outside and I was stuck in the middle of them. I don't think Bruno came to the left I think Germany came back to the inside and then the contact happened. It is racing and this happens in racing it is a shame this happened to us in our home town. The next race I start from the back, I have a great car, awesome mechanics and am going to do everything to get back.'
He went on to comment on his fastest lap comeback: 'I was pushing as hard as I could after the accident. The car was really, really damaged and I could not turn to the right, I was taking off rubber and the tire was really damaged. I am very confident for the next race and will go out with a good car and do what I need to do.'
Sprint race results
Pos Driver A1 Team Time Gap first
1 Alex YOONG MALAYSIA 17:44.563 -
2 Oliver JARVIS GREAT BRITAIN 17:46.701 +2.138
3 Ian DYK AUSTRALIA 17:50.909 +6.346
4 Adrian ZAUGG SOUTH AFRICA 17:53.786 +9.223
5 Jonathan SUMMERTON USA 17:54.003 +9.440
6 Ho-Pin TUNG CHINA 17:56.596 +12.033
7 Enrico TOCCACELO ITALY 17:57.660 +13.097
8 Ananda MIKOLA INDONESIA 17:58.795 +14.232
9 Renger VAN DER ZANDE NETHERLANDS 17:59.318 +14.755
10 Marcel FASSLER SWITZERLAND 18:00.263 +15.700
11 Narain KARTHIKEYAN INDIA 18:01.454 +16.891
12 Jarek JANIS CZECH REPUBLIC 18:02.484 +17.921
13 James HINCHCLIFFE CANADA 18:11.865 +27.302
14 Alvaro PARENTE PORTUGAL 18:36.309 +51.746
15 Nur ALI PAKISTAN 18:40.658 +56.095
16 Jonny REID NEW ZEALAND 18:59.660 +1:15.097
17 Salvador DURAN MEXICO 19:04.774 +1:20.211
18 Allam KHODAIR LEBANON 18:41.167 1 Lap
19 Jean Karl VERNAY FRANCE 03:03.537 10 Laps
20 Bruno JUNQUEIRA BRAZIL 12 Laps
21 Christian VIETORIS GERMANY 12 Laps
22 Richard LYONS IRELAND 12 Laps
Fastest lap: A1 Team Mexico set the fastest lap of the Sprint race with a speed of 182.9 kph on lap his third lap of the race.