To Malaysians, race car driver Alex Yoong is a household name when it comes to motorsports. In 2001, he made history as the first Malaysian and second South-East Asian to drive in Formula 1 with the European Minardi F1 team.
Since then Alex has participated in the A1 GP, 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup and currently in his fifth year at the Audi R8 LMS Cup – a current back-to-back champion for 2014 and 2015 with the Audi TEDA Racing Team. But for Alex, it isn’t just motor sports. Coming from a family active in sports, he and his younger siblings took home a total seven medals at the Singapore SEA Games last year. With lots more in store for him in the future, Alex shares with us briefly on how he began in motor sports.
Congratulations on your back to back Audi Cup win. What message would you give to Malaysians interested to pursue a career in motor racing?
AY: Be very nice to your parents if you want to pursue a career in Motorsports. It’s pretty damn expensive and you’ll need their help.
Tell us how growing up was for you, and how you got yourself into a racing driver?
AY: My Dad got me into racing as he was running the Shah Alam track at that time. Was very fortunate really, because which young boy didn’t want to be a race car driver?
What gets you going on the track?
AY: I love competing. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do and as far as competition goes, nothing is as intense as racing a full field of speeding race cars.
What sparked the passion for cars?
AY: I don’t have a passion for cars as much as people think. Competition is what really whets my appetite.
“I like a realistic approach to motor racing. I always approach each race and practice session with the goal to be the fastest. It’s about focusing on the driving and getting the car right. If the results happen and I win, it’s great.” – Alex Yoong
What car is your current favourite?
AY: Audi R8 is pretty much my favourite. But in only Pink.
Do you have a practice or workout regime to prepare yourself before starting a race?
AY: You have to be fit to compete like any other sport so it’s important to make sure your regime preps you. This ensures that you peak at the right time. Namely in the race itself. Also make sure you pee as late as possible. A full bladder when the engine is revving while waiting for the lights to turn green is not fun.
Images are copyright of Audi R8 LMS Cup