KUALA LUMPUR, 7 June 2018: Malaysian drivers, Nazim Azman and Muizz Musyafa, are among the front-runners for the leading awards at the MERITUS Awards Gala Presented by PETRON which will take place at Studio 1, ASTRO All-Asia Broadcast Centre, here tomorrow. Also in the running are Daniel Cao of China, Kane Shepherd of Thailand and Ugo de Wilde from Belgium.
The awards gala is held to celebrate the best drivers in the recently concluded season of the FIA Formula 4 Southeast Asia Championship (F4SEA) fuelled by PETRON. The F4SEA season was held over an eight-month period with races taking place at circuits in Sepang, Thailand and the Philippines.
Rising star, Nazim, 17, will be banking on his blistering victory in the F4 SEA opening round staged as a F1 GP Support Race 2017 in October to land him some honours at the awards gala. Nazim, who also competes in Europe, is a driver with immense potential.
Rookie driver Muizz, 16, meanwhile had a great season which could see him walk away with some honours after finishing strongly in the last event (Event 5) in Sepang where he managed two podium finishes. “I’m looking forward to the awards, it’s a great night for all the drivers,” said Muizz. “It was a great 2017 season but now, I need to double my efforts for the coming season as I’ve set my sights on the top three positions. It requires a lot of hard work but I’m determined to make it happen.”
Meanwhile, Cao, 16, had an impressive season and is a clear candidate to claim the overall top honours, making him the first-ever driver from China to claim an FIA F4 championship title.
Also battling for the top honours is Shepherd, who has had a remarkable season. Shepherd, 17, has been successful in karting, winning the 2016 Thailand Rotax Max Senior Championship before making his debut in F4 SEA in 2016. The 15-year-old De Wilde, voted rookie of the year in the French F4, delivered some stunning performances and it’s no surprise that he finished among the top drivers last season.
Another contender for the awards is Alessandro Ghiretti of Morocco, who proved to be a promising talent with great potential. “I’ve managed one win and five podium finishes this past season. I’m looking forward to the Awards Gala to meet up with my friends,” said Ghiretti.
The MERITUS Awards Gala presented by PETRON, first held last year, is organised to honour and recognise the region’s young drivers of the future at the end of the FIA Formula 4 Southeast Asia Championship fuelled by Petron season.
A total of eight categories are listed in this year’s award with the Overall Champion as the top prize, Rookie Champion, Fastest Lap, Best Drive, Best Recovery, Up and Coming Talent, Best engineer and Best Mechanic.
“The young drivers put their heart and soul into what turned out to be an awesome season. Their efforts were clearly reflected in the high quality of the racing. The awards programme is a fitting finale for these drivers and we hope it will encourage them to want to achieve more and aim for the sky in their quest to be world-class racing drivers,” said Peter Thompson, F4 SEA promoter and CEO of Asian Autosport Action (AAA)
At the inaugural MERITUS Award Gala last year, Presley Martono from Indonesia was crowned the first-ever Overall Champion of the F4 SEA Championship.
- Overall Champion
- Rookie Champion
- Fastest Lap (Sepang, Buriram, Clark Circuits)
- Best Drive
- Best Recovery
- Up and Coming Talent
- Best Engineer
- Best Mechanic