“The cars feels exactly the same, the smell feels the same, it’s good to be back in a Minardi,” enthused Alex Yoong reminiscing about his involvement in the Formula One world championships with Minardi during the 2001-2002 season.
“It feels good to be back in the two seater, the atmosphere is a bit different from being in the F1 series. I was doing it for four or five time times in Beijing in a Minardi around December 2002.
“At that time, we were actually running the car in the snow,” added Alex the first Malaysian and second Southeast Asian driver after Thailand’s Birabongse Bhanudej to compete in F1.
It seems after F1, Alex’s career stuttered a bit before the former driver in the short lived A1 GP series found his niche, in the endurance series.
Having been a regular in the Malaysia Merdeka Millenium Endurance (MMER), finishing runner up in last year’s edition with Belgian Audi, Alex is set to further his involvement with the high performance German manufacturer in the Nurburgring 24 Hours.
“I have been in talks with Audi, but I can’t confirm yet. I am currently discussing with them about my possible involvement in the Nurburgring 24 Hours. I’ve always been a good endurance driver, being careful with the handling and the tyres of the car.
“I am open to any possibility, whether its Formula Nippon, Indy Car, but I’m happy driving with Audi, it’s a fantastic outfit,” added the 35 year old.
Driven by former Malaysian F1 pilot, Alex Yoong and ex Minardi driver, Patrick Friesacher, it was akin to being in an actual Formula One car, combined with an overall performance (acceleration, braking and cornering capabilities), similar to the one used by the Minardi F1 Team in 2001 which competed in the 2008 Formula One World Championship.
words & pix: SIC