Yoong takes maiden A1 win

Team Malaysia's Alex Yoong dominated the Sprint Race at the A1 Grand Prix season finale in Shanghai

Yoong takes maiden A1 win

Despite fellow front-row starter Darren Manning perhaps being more accustomed to rolling starts due to his IRL experience, Yoong got the jump on the British driver and was never headed.

He pulled away as the laps rolled down, never once having to use his power boost button, and had pulled out nearly a ten-second gap to Manning in the half-hour race.

It was Yoong's first win in the series, which means that seven nations have now won A1 GP races in the inaugural season.

"The car was just really good," Yoong said. "I knew the temperature had gone up, and the car felt really good straight away, and I could push very hard at the end.

"It is going to be a very competitive feature race, however, later today."

Manning secured second on his A1 GP debut, after battling with Mexico's Salvador Duran throughout the 14-lap race.

Duran looked as if he could pass Manning with three laps to go, when he used his power boost button on the super-long back straight. However, Manning held his nerve and position as they slowed for the hairpin.

Manning then used his three of four power boost buttons in the final laps to stay ahead of Duran by the flag.

The position confirmed Team Great Britain's third place in the championship.

"The main goal was to secure the bronze medal," Manning said, "so it has been a great weekend all round.

"I feel I have acclimatised myself well to the series. France and Malaysia got the drop on me at the start, but I managed to make a move on France."

Duran was disappointed that his one opportunity to pass Manning didn't come off.

"With Darren's experience, I knew it would be difficult to pass him," Manning said. "He was faster than me in some parts of the track, and I was faster in the other.

"I tried one time to pass with my power boost button, and I knew if I didn't do it then it wouldn't happen in the race. I didn't manage it, and it was over."

Michael Devaney equalled his best A1 GP finish with fourth place for Team Ireland, ahead of Ananda Mikola, who scored his best finish of the year for Team Indonesia. Tomas Enge's Czech Republic entry finished seventh.

Team France had, by their standards, a poor race. Alexandre Premat started third but finished seventh, after falling back throughout the race.

Premat, who has had less track time than normal this weekend because he is sharing the car with teammate Nicolas Lapierre, tried hard to out-muscle Manning through the first complex of turns.

However, Manning, despite being on the outside through the long first corner, held on to the position, and soon afterwards Premat haemorrhaged positions lap by lap.

Duran and Daveney darted by in the early laps, before the Dutch car of Jos Verstappen then went by at the hairpin. Premat appeared to outbrake himself as Verstappen passed, and Mikola slipped through in the same move.

Premat then weaved frequently on the straight to keep Enge's Czech Republic entry behind him, but the former IRL racer had the faster car and went by at the hairpin in a repeat of Verstappen's move.

New Zealand then gave chase, but Premat held on to the position by just 0.4 seconds.

Verstappen's race ended with three laps to go because of mechanical difficulties, when he slowed on track before pulling into the pits.

Canada's Patrick Carpentier and Switzerland's Giogio Mondini collided at the hairpin at the end of the first lap, ending both of their races early.

Pos Driver Team Time 1. Alex Yoong Malaysia 28:17.807 2. Darren Manning Great Britain + 9.841 3. Salvador Duran Mexico + 10.417 4. Michael Devaney Ireland + 13.905 5. Ananda Mikola Indonesia + 19.171 6. Tomas Enge Czech Republic + 20.815 7. Alexandre Premat France + 25.341 8. Matt Halliday New Zealand + 25.739 9. Ryan Briscoe Australia + 26.670 10. C. Fittipaldi Brazil + 33.743 11. Stephen Simpson South Africa + 33.854 12. Adam Khan Pakistan + 34.204 13. Cesar Campanico Portugal + 36.348 14. Philip Giebler USA + 37.575 15. Sebastian Stahl Germany + 41.489 16. Enrico Toccacelo Italy + 44.892 17. Qinghua Ma China + 60.963 18. Graham Rahal Lebanon + 1 Lap 19. Jos Verstappen Netherlands + 3 Laps 20. Mathias Lauda Austria + 10 Laps 21. Patrick Carpentier Canada + 14 Laps 22. Giorgio Mondini Switzerland + 14 Laps Fastest lap: Yoong, 1:52.508 on lap 14 
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Author Tim Redmayne
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