Former F1 driver Alex Yoong has lauded the greater emphasis recently placed on developing Malaysian drivers capable of competing at the highest level in endurance races such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans. NSTP file pic

KUALA LUMPUR: Former F1 driver Alex Yoong has lauded the greater emphasis recently placed on developing Malaysian drivers capable of competing at the highest level in endurance races such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Alex said it is better to focus on other world championships rather than F1.

"It is very hard to make it in international motorsports... you have to be based in Europe and for us (Malaysians), we are always up against a loaded deck compared to people who are there," said the 41-year-old.

"I think we should focus on anything that is not F1. It is so specialised and so expensive that it is impossible to make it.

"Even if you make it there, to do well and get into a good team is hard. Even with Jazeman (Jaafar), trying to break into the Mercedes team was almost impossible.

"There are so many other good world championships out there. We should choose those which are not expensive and give our boys a fighting chance to compete on an even playing field."

Alex, who is also the only Malaysian to have raced in the 24 Hours of Le Mans (2006 and 2007) praised Jackie Chan DC Racing X Jota trio Weiron Tan, Afiq Ikhwan Yazid and Jazeman, who emerged victorious on their Asian Le Mans debut as a team in Buriram earlier this month.

"I was not surprised at all that they won, we have got some really good drivers here. Their performance shows how talented and capable they are, given the chance.

"I know that if they go (to 24 Hours of Le Mans) they will be competitive and will be fighting for podiums, possibly even win it. I can't wait to see them there."

Sepang International Circuit (SIC), who secured the trio their seats at DC Racing, are grooming them to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans event which is regarded as the pinnacle of endurance racing.

keywords: motorsport, Alex Yoong, 24 Hours of Le Mans, other world championships, F1

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