Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bring on Nurburgring



Former F1 driver will have an eye on the weather forecast while aiming for top ten finish

NURBURG: Former Malaysian Formula 1 driver Alex Yoong is all set for his first 24 Hours Nurburgring race in the German circuit this weekend despite possible bad weather.

The 35-year-old, who is the only Malaysian on the grid, will be racing for the Audi Race Experience, one of seven Audi factory car in the GT3 (Division 1) with about 70 cars in the class.

"It’s going to be interesting weekend and I'm looking forward to it but the weather will definitely be a factor to consider," said Alex, who will have a dragon motif on his number 24 car.

"The circuit has difficult corners, mostly blind and very difficult to learn. It's always wet at some part of the track and changes all the time.

"Personally, I believe it is the greatest track in the world but so dangerous as well," added Alex whose target is to stay incident free and a top ten finish in his maiden outing.

Alex aims to stay incident-free on the circuit dubbed Green Hell by Jackie Stewart

For 2012, the 24 Hours Nurburgring race is limited to a maximum of 190 entries, 60 less than last year, which will start in 3 groups of up to 70 cars max. Each entry must have between two drivers and four drivers. Drivers may drive more than one car (2 max).

All drivers are permitted to drive three hours per stint max with all refuelling and pit stops included. All drivers are required to take a minimum rest time of two hours whether driving one or two cars. Alex will be teamed up with Luca Cappellari, Florian Gruber and Warren Luff for the race.

"I've raced with Luca and Florian at the VLN 6 Hours Race last year where we finished seventh in a field of 130 cars. I'm looking forward to work with them again," said Alex.

“The spirit in the pit is also high and we are on good momentum for some positive results,” he added. The last time the former Minardi and A1 Team Malaysia driver raced in the endurance race was in the 2008 24 Hours Le Mans race where he finish fifth in class with Charouz Racing System. Alex is also leading the standings in this year’s Audi R8 LMS Cup after winning Round 1 at the Shanghai International Circuit on April 29.

The Audi R8 LMS Cup is the first ever 'One-Make' racing championship from Audi. After its debut in Shanghai, the series will travel to Zhuhai, move on to Ordos in Inner Mongolia and return to Zhuhai before culminating into the grand finale in Shanghai to end the season. At the end of the season, three titles will be up for grabs this season, namely the Audi R8 LMS Cup overall title, an Amateur Category and a Team award, based on points accumulated throughout the series.

Round 2 of the Audi RB LMS Cup will be held at the Zhuhai International Circuit on June 1-3

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