Record updated 20-Jul-21
Alexander Charles Yoong was the first Malaysian to race in Formula One. Though with poor machinery he failed to impress. However in A1 GP and Sports Cars he has had considerable success.
A Malaysian race car driver, Alexander Charles Yoong Loong was born in Kuala Lumpur to a Malaysian father who was the manager of the Shah Alam circuit, and British mother.
He started racing saloon cars in 1992 when he was 16 before moving to the Proton one-make series.
He switched to single seaters and raced in Formula Asia in 1994 winning the title the following year. He then moved to Europe in 1996 where he spent two seasons with Startline Racing in Formula Renault but finished outside the top-10 in both years.
In 1997 he switched to British Formula 3 with a Portman Racing Dallara F397 Mitsubishi and stayed with then for 1998 with a Dallara F398 Renault. For the last three races he drove an Alan Docking Mugen powered Dallara F398 qualifying third for the season finale at Silverstone but spun out onlap 17. He drove for Alan Docking again in the XLV Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix in November and stayed with the team for 1999.
However after 5 races in which he had shown some promise, including second at Brands Hatch in April, eventually he dropped out due to the withdrawal of his sponsors despite his father's attempts to continue funding his son's racing. In July that year he switched to F3000 and finished second at in a round of the Italian F3000 Championship at Donington. In August he had a bad crash in the F3000 Grand Prix de Belgique at Spa-Francorchamps. Having qualified 16th, on lap five he collided with Justin Wilson's Astromega car going into Eau Rouge. He hit the tyre wall at around 260 KPH and was unconscious for 20 minutes. He continued but had a number of DNFs during the rest of the season.
He raced in Formula Nippon in 2000 and 2001 without success.
Backed by the Malaysian lottery company Magnum he was given the chance to drive three Formula One races in 2001 for the Minardi team, debuting at the Italian GP replacing Tarso Marques, becoming the first Malaysian to race in Formula One. The deal was extended for the whole 2002 season, however after a good result of seventh in the Australian Grand Prix he struggled to be competitive.
After failing to qualify for a number of races, he was replaced by Anthony Davidson for two mid-season races. Although his form did improve afterwards, his Formula One career ended at the close of season. He competed in 15 Formula 1 races with the best results of 7th in Australia and 10th in France.
A promising start in the American Champcar series in 2003 (9th in Mexico), his season was cut short due to the team's lack of funds and Yoong failed to impress in his few drives in the Australian V8 Supercar series in 2004.
He raced in A1 GP for three seasons finishing 5th in his first season with one win and 6th the following seson taking three wins.
In 2006 he also shared Racing for Holland’s Dome S101HB-Judd in the Le Mans Series with Jan Lammers. Third at the Nürburgring, he switched to Charouz Racing and a Lola B07/10-Judd for 2007. Second in the opening round at Valencia, he was eighth in the Le Mans 24 Hours when sharing with Jan Charouz and Stefan Mücke on both occasions.
He had considerable success in Asian GT's Audi R8 one-make series, winning the Championship for three years running: 2014, 2015 and 2016.
He has remained an enthusiastic promoter of motorsports and works as a presenter on Malaysian television as well as running his other business interests.