Alex Yoong

Alex Yoong

Alexander Charles Yoong Loong (simplified Chinese: 熊龙; traditional Chinese: 熊龍; pinyin: Xióng Lóng, (born 20 July 1976), is a Malaysian professional racing driver of Chinese Malaysian and English parentage.

Alex Yoong began his career in saloon cars before moving into the Proton one-make series. He later raced in single-seater cars where he won the Malaysian Championship in 1995. He moved into Formula Renault in 1996 with help from sponsors but finished outside the top-10. Alex Yoong consulted his father who believed his son would succeed in lower categories. Alex Yoong decided to drive in Formula Three but dropped out in 1999 after withdrawal from his sponsors. He subsequently went into Formula 3000 and managed to improve despite a horrific crash at Spa-Francorchamps during the season. Alex Yoong also raced in Formula Nippon where he achieved no success.

Alex Yoong became the first Malaysian to race in Formula One with Minardi at the 2001 Italian Grand Prix and left the sport in 2002. Alex Yoong had a less successful career in CART World Series but had improved in the Porsche Carrera Cup with a less successful foray into V8 Supercars. Alex Yoong raced in A1 Grand Prix series between 2005 and 2008 and scored three victories. In between this, Alex Yoong raced in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Alex Yoong worked for Lotus Racing as head of driver development and is also a commentator for Fox Sports Asia. Alex Yoong married Arriana Teoh, who was Miss World 1997 Malaysia in 2002 and has a son, Alister, born in 2003.Since this young start, Alex has gone on to successful secure many wins and podiums through races held in Malaysia, Asia, Europe and the rest of the world. He has the distinction of winning the first single seater race held in China in 1994 just before he clinched the Malaysian Formula Asia Championship.

Early Career

His early racing career started in saloon cars in 1992 when he was 16. Alex Yoong became the youngest driver in Malaysian motorsport history and moved into a one-make Proton series. He secured his first pole and win in his fourth role and ended up winning two out of five races. In late 1992, Alex Yoong took up saloon racing and took a Toyota Corolla to the Macau Grand Prix and finished third in the 1600cc class in the Guia race. Alex Yoong later moved up into a 400-horsepower DTM-spec BMW and was the most powerful saloon in the region.

Moving up into the Formula Asia International Championship in 1994 with a RM 50,000 loan, Alex Yoong took several podium finishes before claiming his first win in the season-ending rount at Zhuhai in China. This result led to Alex Yoong to go a title challenge in 1995. He had won the Malaysian national crown, but the contential championship campaign was far less successful; producing eight wins and finishing second in the championship missing out by two points. Within the same year, Alex Yoong assisted in the filming of Jackie Chan's racing film Thunderbolt at Shah Alam which led to Chan describing him as a "very good racing driver". Alex Yoong was contacted by Paul Stewart to test a Formula Vauxhall car before he gained the opportunity to test a Formula Renault Sport machine at Donington Park and Snetterton for the Startline Racing team.