Yoong 'close to CART drive'

Alex Yoong, Malaysia's first Formula 1 driver, looks set to turn his back on the series and is close to landing a drive in the US-based CART championship

Yoong 'close to CART drive'

The Minardi team, for whom Yoong drove in 14 grands prix, still has an option on his services for next season, but it looks likely that he'll be given permission to find a drive elsewhere.

"We are very close to signing with a winning CART team," he told his personal website. "The moment this is done we'll have to get the release from Minardi and we'll move on from there."

Yoong has had a difficult year in F1 this season, failing to qualifying on three occasions. However, after a mid-season break he came back stronger and showed his best form to date in the final three races. This led to the opportunity of a test role at Minardi, but Yoong is determined to find a race seat.

"A year's testing would do me good for sure, but I do not believe Minardi will be testing much in 2003," he said. "I feel a year's racing would be better and am looking forward to CART. Also the fact that there is a chance to win races instead of racing at the back is very attractive to me. The competition in CART is very intense but it's possible for me to do well there. The series have quite a number of races outside America and I'm sure it will expand further."

Yoong's best F1 result came in the first race of the 2002 season, when he finished seventh in the Australian GP.

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