Well some of us have seen him in that awful pre-race TV show
on Star Sports, where they are using Alex as their expert ‘talking head’.
Since Alex wasn’t quick enough to qualify several times, his expert opinion
could be doubted, I fear.
I have just been sent the following piece which was spotted by our Down-under
correspondent John Weinthal. I quote it in its entirety:
“Former Malaysian F1 driver Alex Yoong has returned to
motor racing. He is now a regular competitor in Australia’s SuperCar V8 Konica
Cup Challenge; a junior league for aspirants to the famed Ford Falcon Vs Holden
Commodore first division.
“Konica Cuppers compete in earlier model Falcon and
Commodore V8s which are no longer eligible for Australia’s most popular race
“In his latest outing at Queensland Raceway today Mr Yoong
qualified 20th in a field of 27 cars. He was classified 18th among the 23 cars
which were running at the end of 33 laps.
“Post race pit pundits suggested that Mr Yoong’s next
motor sport ambition may be rallying, following several test runs through the
sand traps at this near-Brisbane circuit.”
(Thanks for that John. I am pleased to see that the Konica
Cup is giving young Alex an opportunity to showcase his talents. It seems that
he hasn’t lost his speed either! Dr. Iain.)
Last year we reviewed the Citroen C5, which at a smidgen over
2 million baht here, still came across as fair value for a very good car. Since
then, our Down-under correspondent John Weinthal has spent a week with the
diesel engined station wagon version, the C5 Hdi Break (Wagon) and wrote “What
a way to traverse Australia!”
Here are the Words from Weinthal. “One of last year’s
star drives was French maker Citroen’s luxury C5 sedan with a velvet smooth 3
litre V6 engine and more standard equipment and worthwhile engineering novelty
than almost anything else on our roads. That was enough to make me look forward
to this week’s driving in the C5 diesel engined estate car, although
historically I am no big fan of diesel cars.
there were two immediate reasons to at least give this one a fair trial. First,
the 2 litre auto-only diesel wagon costs around AUD 10,000 less than the V6
sedan at AUD 48,390 yet it incorporates even more technology and the same
comprehensive standard equipment list. This price includes a limited edition AUD
900 option pack comprising classy leather pews, radar reversing sensors and
fold-back external mirrors.
is a good looking large wagon - not far short of the Australian standard General
Motors Holden Commodore or Ford Falcon - but ahead of the similarly priced
Holden Calais or Ford Fairmont in comfort and safety gear and worthwhile
“Trick gear includes hydractive hydro-pneumatic
self-leveling suspension which can be adjusted to four different ride heights.
The C5 recognizes rough roads and raises itself automatically for greater ground
clearance for traversing some of our worst bush tracks. At freeway speeds it
rides lower for better stability and fuel economy.
button at the rear lowers the C5 to the ground to make loading heavy items or
hitching a boat or caravan easier and safer, or raises it to loading dock
heights. When loading is complete, the C5 Estate automatically restores normal
drive height and self-leveling.
“Standard equipment runs the full luxury car gamut
including automatic wipers and headlamps, six airbags, dual-level climate
control air, one of the most accurate cruise controls I have encountered, a host
of useful storage spaces, parking sensors and emergency application of the ABS
brakes. When it rains the windows close automatically.
“The load area has a reversible floor mat, with deep pile
carpet on one side and a washable, waterproof high grip surface on the other. It
has luggage tie down points, a load cover, cargo net and a retractable net to
keep pets and luggage in the rear. Maximum payload is a whopping 600kg - about
the same as a Holden V8 pick-up!
“The C5 also exudes build quality reminiscent of the best
“And so to the road. To get to the downside first, there is
no avoiding the fact that around town this auto-only wagon is not particularly
pleasant due to the loud diesel rattle at idle and low speeds and its - let’s
be kind - tardy stroll from standstill. I can’t remember the last time I drove
a passenger vehicle which took more than 15 seconds to reach 100kph. So, for me
at least, this would be unacceptable as a city car especially as fuel
consumption is nothing special under the hard usage demanded to stay with the
traffic flow. But there end the demerits.
“Hit the open road - either highway or byway - and the C5
diesel wagon becomes sheer joy. The engine and standard issue 5-speed tiptronic
auto transmission match brilliantly. The ride is wonderful. The diesel knock
becomes a pleasant distant thrum and fuel economy is absolutely mind-blowing for
such a large, capable, luxury load bearer.
“Fuel saving and range between refills are probably the
most significant attractions of diesel. On these scores the C5 delivers
handsomely. One frequently notes between 4.5 and 6 litres per 100 kays on the
facia-top infocentre. Even on test we easily achieved just over 1000 km with
fuel to spare in the 68 litre tank. Citroen’s claim of up to 1500 km on a
tankful would take some real effort I reckon, but 1200 km between refills should
be easy enough over extended country cruising.
“What a way to tour Australia - low fuel costs, vast
luggage capacity, full luxury kit, super supple ride, hushed progress and ease
of mind when road conditions deteriorate.
“At under AUD 50,000 this is bargain luxury for those whose
majority motoring is far from the city grind.”
(Thank you John. In Thailand, and even around the better
roads of Bangkok, the sluggishness would not be such a problem. The traffic flow
- or lack of it - means that you cannot even reach 100 kph most days. Outside
the capital, the C5, in any of its guises sounds ideal, other than perhaps ease
of servicing. Dr. Iain.)