Alzen takes his second

Uwe Alzen scored his second Speedcar victory in the Sunday morning race at Sepang, having already won the second 'reverse grid' event at Sentul. The German touring car veteran chased early leader David Terrien, and eventually found his way past.

The grid saw the top eight line up in reverse order, with Saturday's eighth-placed finisher Terrien on pole ahead of Nicolas Navarro, Stefan Johansson, Ananda Mikola, Alzen, Mathias Lauda, Johnny Herbert and Saturday winner Jean Alesi.

There was drama even before the start as Ukyo Katayama pitted for attention to an apparent suspension problem, while when the grid moved away behind the safety car Navarro failed to get going, and was pushed to the pits. Both men subsequently joined the race from the end of the pitlane.

When the field was released Terrien charged into the lead, chased initially by Johansson and Mikola. The man on the move on the first lap was Alesi, who rose from seventh to fourth by the end of it, having passed Alzen, Lauda and Herbert. Further back there was action as Christian Danner nudged JJ Lehto into a spin at Turn 2, having done the same to Alex Yoong in the same spot the previous day!

Terrien opened up a small advantage on Johansson, while Alzen soon began pressuring the former McLaren and Ferrari star. Alzen eventually forced his way by at the last corner at the end of lap 5, and the two men traded paintwork as they came out onto the pit straight.

As Alzen set his sights on leader Terrien all eyes were on the battle behind. Alesi began to ease closer to Johansson, and soon the three former Grand Prix drivers were nose to tail and enjoying a fabulous dice that kept those watching in the F1 garages thoroughly entertained.

Herbert passed Alesi for fourth on the eighth lap, but the Frenchman regained the position almost immediately. However, when Alesi got into a slide Herbert nipped back through.

The Briton then started to hassle Johansson, and when Stefan appeared to go a little wide, Johnny needed no second invitation and dived down the inside. However Johansson closed the door and the pair touched, sending Stefan into a spin on what was an unlucky lap 13. Herbert lost momentum briefly and a delighted Alesi jumped past both of them. From ninth on the grid Gianni Morbidelli was also close enough to gain a place before Johansson could recover.

"It was very competitive," said Alesi. "We had Stefan holding us up a little bit, and he was not easy to pass. Always when I made a mistake, Johnny went ahead of me! It was a shame for Stefan because he was doing a good race, but at the end of the day we are all competitors, and we do our best."

Meanwhile out front Alzen caught Terrien, passing him for the lead in the hairpin in a clean move and staying clear for the remainder of the race. He was just under 2secs clear at the flag.

"It was an unbelievably hard race," said Alzen. "The start was not bad, better than yesterday. I made a mistake on the first lap and lost two places, and then I started to push. It was so hard, and I had to push over the whole distance. I think it was 70degC in the car, quite unbelievable! I passed Terrien in the hairpin, where I overtook Lauda yesterday. It's good because now I am a little bit closer to Alesi in the championship."

Alesi, Herbert, Morbidelli and Johansson completed the top six, while Navarro recovered to seventh after his pitlane start. Hasher al Maktoum, Alex Yoong (after surviving an off) and Lehto rounded out the top 10, while Katayama and Danner were the only other finishers. Saturday's third placed man Mathias Lauda retired after twice suffering punctures, while Mikola, Marchy Lee and Fabien Giroix also failed to finish.

Benoit Lamonerie, General Manager of Speedcar Series was pleased with the first F1 participation race saying, "I'm delighted at the clean and entertaining show that we put up and it is an honor to have done so at the Malaysian Grand Prix. It was also good to see that the podium was shared by young talent as well as motorsport veterans which is the spirit of Speedcar."

The series resumes in two weeks' time with another pair of races supporting the Bahrain GP, where the hot weather will again provide a challenge.

Classification Race 2

Pos Driver Laps Time/Gap
1 Uwe Alzen 18 40:05.212
2 David Terrien 18 1.936
3 Jean Alesi 18 9.334
4 Johnny Herbert 18 11.381
5 Gianni Morbidelli 18 15.059
6 Stefan Johansson 18 20.630
7 Nicolas Navarro 18 22.467
8 Hasher Al Maktoum 18 32.445
9 Alex Yoong 18 33.029
10 JJ Lehto 18 42.795
11 Ukyo Katayama 18 46.739
12 Christian Danner 18 1:38.515
Not classified
Mathias Lauda 12 DNF
Ananda Mikola 8 DNF
Marchy Lee 4 DNF
Fabien Giroix 0 DNS

Fastest lap Johnny Herbert 2:12.535 on lap 7

Speedcar Series positions after race 4

Pos Driver R1 R2 R3 R4 TOT
1 Jean Alesi 10 8 10 6 34
2 Uwe Alzen 4 10 5 10 29
3 Johnny Herbert 6 2 8 5 21
4 David Terrien 5 5 1 8 19
5 Mathias Lauda 8 4 6 18
6 Ananda Mikola 1 6 4 11
7 Nicolas Navarro 3 2 2 7
8 Stefan Johansson 3 3 6
9 Klaus Ludwig 2 3 5
10 Gianni Morbidelli 4 4
11 Ukyo Katayama 1 1
11 Hasher Al Maktoum 1 1

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