Tan Sri Muhyiddin announces MERITUS-GP scholarship for Malaysian driver

Tan Sri Muhyiddin announces MERITUS-GP scholarship for Malaysian driver

30.03.2010: Deputy Prime Minister YAB Tan Sri Dato' Muhyiddin bin Haji Mohd Yassin today announced that Asia’s most successful motorsports team, MERITUS-GP will provide a ‘Single-seater racing Scholarship’ for Malaysian driver Mohd Afiq Ikhwan.

Deputy Prime Minister YAB Tan Sri Dato' Muhyiddin bin Haji Mohd Yassin today announced that Asia’s most successful motorsports team, MERITUS-GP will provide a ‘Single-seater racing Scholarship’ for Malaysian driver Mohd Afiq Ikhwan.




Afiq, who had a successful karting career, will make his single-seater debut in the 2010 Formula BMW Pacific Championship which flags off this weekend. Tan Sri Dato’ Muhyiddin made the announcement at the Kelab Taman Perdana DiRaja Kuala Lumpur.

Today’s event was also a trip down memory lane for Tan Sri Dato’ Muhyiddin as he officiated MERITUS-GP’s first ever Asian Press Conference in 1997, when he was the then-Youth and Sports Minister. Since then, MERITUS-GP has gone on to win 34 international titles.

“It is heartening to note that a championship winning team like Meritus is willing to sponsor young Malaysian talents such as Afiq,” said YAB Tan Sri Dato' Muhyiddin.

“I’m touched by MERITUS-GP’s generosity and wish the team luck as it goes in search of its eighth consecutive Formula BMW Championship crown.

“I attended their first ever Press Conference some 13 years ago and it looks like I was the team’s lucky charm,” YAB Tan Sri Dato' Muhyiddin added with a laugh.

MERITUS-GP co-owner Firhat Mokhzani, who as head of driver development has been behind all 34 of the team’s titles, said: “We are honoured that YAB Tan Sri Dato Muhyiddin has graciously agreed to make the announcement regarding our Scholarship for Afiq.

“YAB Tan Sri Dato Muhyiddin was our first ever guest of honour when MERITUS-GP moved to Malaysia in 1997.  Since then, we have grown from strength to strength and have won a record 34 international titles. .

“Over the years, MERITUS-GP has helped develop Malaysian motorsports and besides unearthing the nation’s only two formula champions – Ng Wai Leong (Formula Asia in 2000) and Jazeman Jaafar (Formula BMW Asia, 2007), we have also upgraded our local technical and support crew.

“Thirteen years ago, when we first started racing in Asia, MERITUS-GP had an all-European crew. But now, with the exception of two educators/trainers, our Formula BMW Pacific crew comprises entirely of Malaysians.”

Meanwhile, Afiq said he is honoured to be given the MERITUS-GP Scholarship.

“Everyone in motorsports knows about MERITUS-GP as it has been dominating racing for the last 13 years and I feel honoured it has deemed me worthy of receiving a Formula Scholarship,” said Afiq, who turns 19 on Aug 8.

“I’m also grateful that our Deputy Prime Minister YAB Tan Sri Dato' Muhyiddin is present here today.

“I have followed closely some of MERITUS-GP’s drivers’ career and hope to follow in their footsteps by becoming a champion. I aim to make Malaysia proud in the championship and bring more honour to the team.”

Besides Afiq, three other drivers – Colombian Oscar Tunjo, Indonesia’s Dustin Sofyan and Thailand’s Pasin Lathouras – will race for MERITUS-GP in this season’s Formula BMW Pacific championships.

Also present at the Press Conference was Questnet Malaysia Chairman Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin Megat Khas.



MERITUS-GP DRIVERS FOR 2010 FORMULA BMW PACIFIC

MOHD AFIQ IKHWAN

Date of birth: Aug 8 1991
Current age: 18
Place of birth: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Resident: Saujana Impiana Kajang, Malaysia
Height and Weight: 169cm, 54kg
Hair: Black 
Eyes: Black
Blood type: AB+ 
Hobbies: Futsal 
Favourite drink: Lychee
 
Favourite meal: Laksa Johor
Start of racing career: 2007
Worst experience: Stranded at Bangkok airport and missing karting champiosnhip
Most memorable experience: Rotax Max go kart Rookie-of-the-Year 2007
 

Q&A with Mohd Afiq Ikhwan

 
Q: How did the contact with Meritus happen?

A:  My father wrote to Firhat Mokhzani and furnished him with my race results. I was then asked to attend some tests and managed to impress the team

Q: What attracted you to Meritus?

A:  I like red and the team’s colour caught my eye but obviously, the team’s winning record was the main reason

Q: How do you prepare for each race, mentally and physically?

A: I go to the gym everyday and my parents also give me advice on how to be successful in everything I do

Q: Do you have any superstitions before a race?

A: No
 
Q: Looking at the calendar and at the track maps, which Formula BMW Pacific circuits will you enjoy most?

A:  Sepang, as it will be my first time racing on my home circuit.
 
Q: Do you have brothers and sisters?

A: Two elder sisters, 23, and 22 who are both studying.

Q: Do your parents support your racing career?

A: Yes
 
Q: What is your best racing quality?

A: My will to win no matter the circumstances
 
Q: What languages do you speak?

A: Bahasa Malaysia and English

 Q: Which driver do you admire most?

A: The one and only Ayrton Senna



DUSTIN SOFYAN

Date of birth: July 29 1994
Current age: 15
Place of birth: Jakrarta, Indonesia
Resident: Jakarta, Indonesia
Height and Weight: 165cm, 60kg
Hair: Black
Eyes: Brown
Blood type:
Hobbies:  Hanging out with friends           
Sports:  Fishing and water sports
Favourite drink: Sprite
Favourite meal: American, Italian, Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine

Q&A with Dustin Sofyan


Q: How did the contact with Meritus happen?

DS: Last year when my dad approached Peter Thompson and Firhat Mokhzani

Q: What attracted you to Meritus?

DS: They have a winning tradition

Q: Do you have any superstitions before a race?

DS: No

Q:When looking at the calendar and at the track maps, which Formula BMW Pacific circuits will you enjoy most?

DS: Singapore as it is a street race and I want to make up for my crash there last year

Q: Do your parents support your racing career?

DS: Yes

Q: What is your best racing quality?

DS: My determination

Q: What languages do you speak?

DS: English and Bahasa Indonesia

Q: Which driver do you admire most?

DS: Michael Schumacher


Pasin Lathouras BIOGRAPHY

Date of birth: Dec 3 1993
Current age: 16
Place of birth: Bangkok, Thailand
Resident: Bangkok, Thailand
Height and Weight: 179cm, 80kg
Hair: Black/ Brown
Eyes: Brown
Blood type: B+        
Hobbies:  Remote Control Cars           
Sports:  Badminton, Tennis, Soccer
Favourite drink: Coke
Favourite meal: All Thai foods
Start of racing career: Four stroke karts
First success:  2nd using Rok 125 engine in Super Kart Thailand Championship series
Worst experience:  Akoc round in Macau, first time racing KF2 class.
Most memorable experience: Akoc round in Thailand, racing against Aaron Lim, Fahmi  Ilyas, and Stefano Marcelo. (Top karting competitors in Asia.)
First win: SKT Championship KF2 Class and Rotax Max Challenge DD2 Class.


Q&A with Pasin Lathouras

TR: How did the contact with Meritus happened?

PL: Through another Meritus driver, James Grunwell.

TR: What attracted you to Meritus?

PL:  The team’s long history of dominating the race

TR: Where did you race before? What’s your first race?

PL: Thailand and karting series around Asia.  My first was a 6 hour race with 4 stroke kart.

TR: How do you prepare for each race, mentally and physically?

PL: I follow a training programme given by the team, and focus on my goals towards each race

TR: Do you have any superstitions before a race?

PL: No

TR:When looking at the calendar and at the track maps, which Formula BMW Pacific circuits will you enjoy most?

PL: Singapore and Macau as they are street circuits

TR: Do you have brothers and sisters?

PL: No, only child

TR: Do your parents support your racing career?

PL: Yes

TR: What is your best racing quality?

PL: I can adapt to situations quickly

TR: What languages do you speak?

PL: Thai and English

TR: Which driver do you admire most?

PL: Jack Lemvard and James Grunwell


Oscar Tunjo

Date of birth: Jan 5 1996
Current age: 14
Place of birth: Cali, Colombia
Resident: Mont Kiara, Malaysia
Website: www.oscartunjo.com
Height and Weight: 169cm, 62kg
Hair: Black
Eyes: Brown
Blood type:  A+                            
Hobbies: Karting, gym, video games
Sports:  Football and swimming
Favourite drink:   Manzana Postobon a soda from Colombia        
Favourite meal: Pasta             
Start of racing career: Three-year-old karting school in Cali          
First success: National karting champion Colombia when five-years-old:    
Most memorable experience: Getting FIA license to compete in Formula BMW Pacific
Best Podium:  All podiums

Q&A with Oscar Tunjo


Q: How did the contact with Meritus-GP happen?

OT: After meeting up with Peter Thompson. Meritus has a great reputation and working with him was easy.

Q: What attracted you Meritus-GP?

OT: Team work, professionalism, and a family feeling

Q: Where did you race before?

OT: In Colombia, Spain, United States

Q: What did you do the most recent weeks to stay in shape?

OT: I have a personal trainer at the gym. I go four hours a day, two hours in the morning and another two in the evening.
 
Q: How do you prepare for each race, mentally and physically?

OT: Mental trainer to stay focus and a personal trainer to keep fit.

Q: Do you have any superstitions before a race?

OT: No

Q: When looking at the calendar and at the track maps, which Formula BMW Pacific circuits will you enjoy most?

OT: Sepang and Singapore

Q: What is your favorite circuit in the world?

OT: Sepang

Q: Are you a good son?

OT: Of course!

Q: Do you have brothers and sisters?

OT: Yes, Goncclo Tunjo, who is also my manager and Valentino Tunjo, who is a singer

Q: Do your parents support your racing career?

OT: All the time

Q:: What is your best quality at home?

OT: Discipline

Q: What is your best racing quality?

OT: Always giving my best

Q: What languages do you speak?

OT: English, Spanish and Italian

Q: Which driver do you admire most?

OT: Michael Schumacher




2010 Formula BMW Pacific Calender

 2 - 4 April 2010
(Rounds 1 & 2) Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia

 14 - 16 May 2010
(Rounds 3, 4, 5 & 6) Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia

 27 - 29 Aug 2010
(Rounds 7, 8, 9 & 10) Korean International Circuit, Korea

 24 - 26 Sept 2010
(Rounds 11 & 12)  Marina Bay Circuit, Singapore

 22 - 24 Oct 2010
(Rounds 13 & 14) Korean International Circuit, Korea

 19 - 21 Nov 2010
(Round 15) Guia International Circuit, Macau


- Meritus also photo

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30.03.2010 / MaP

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