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3pm motorsport news round-up


Champ Car series starts and McLaren dominates F1 Grand Prix of Malaysia.

Halliday’s tough Champ Car debut

April 9, 2007, 3pm. Champ Car rookie Matt Halliday knew he had a steep learning curve this year, but he didn’t expect his debut to be quite a hard as it was.

The Conquest Racing driver was out before the first lap was even completed.

As the cars accelerated away form the start, the New Zealander found himself pushed into the wall when Graham Rahal crashed in front of him.

"I came in knowing I had a lot to learn for my first Champ Car race but unfortunately at the start there was an accident,” Halliday said. “The car in front of me was Rahal and when he crashed and hit the wall, everyone sort of crowded me.

“I had no where to go and I hit the wall quite hard. I’m looking forward to moving to the next race in Long Beach.”

Australian Will Power won the race, from Robert Doornhos and Paul Tracy.

McLaren one-two in Malaysia

April 9, 2007, 3pm. McLaren-Mercedes teammates Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton finished one-two in Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix, Round 2 of the 2w007 Formula 1 world championship.

It was McLaren’s 41st one-two.

McLaren has extended its lead in the Constructors' Championship, and now has 32 points.

Alonso leads the drivers' battle with 18 points. Hamilton is third with 14 points, behind Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen who was third in Malaysia.

"To win today after coming second in Australia with my new team is like a dream come true,” Alonso said. “I'm so happy and pleased with the progress we as a team have made since we unveiled the MP4-22 in mid-January.

“We knew the key to victory today was to make a good start and get in front to control the race which we achieved.

"There was bit of a drama when there was a problem with my radio after about 10 laps, so I wasn't sure if the team was ready for me when I came in to pit for the first time.

“However they were and the radio was fixed during the stop. After that it was a matter of fighting the conditions, but as I was not really threatened I could take it a bit easier, however it was tough - really tough."

Hamilton said he was “defending my position for a lot of the time, and I'm so pleased that I managed to keep both Felipe (pole-winner, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa) and Kimi behind me. However it was hard work and it was just so hot inside the cockpit."




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