The MERITUS Awards Gala, or the MAGs for short, is an annual black-tie event to profile and reward racing talent, designed by the Formula 4 SEA promoters and the MERITUS.GP team. The focus of the MAGs is to bring Asian motorsport to greater levels of recognition in the international arena and to educate the Asian market about the FIA ladder to the highest levels of the sport, via F4, F3 and F2.
The 2017-18 F4 SEA Championship (fueled by Petron) held its final event 2 weeks ago in Sepang but the season is not over yet because the MAGs are scheduled for the first week of June. The drivers are lining up to see who clenches the championship title. Let’s have a brief look back at the previous MERITUS Awards Gala celebrating the 2016 F4 SEA season.
The inaugural F4 SEA Championship experienced an amazing year of racing courtesy of the FIA’s latest open-wheel driver development initiative designed to set drivers on the path for professional careers in the sport. The maiden season of the FIA’s F4 championship here in Asia highlighted the ultra-competitiveness of our young drivers, as illustrated by the rivalry between Indonesian ace Presley Martono and Kiwi lightning bolt Faine Kahia who battled tooth and nail for the top spot.
Some of the most fearsome battles were fought in the name of the prestigious Overall Champion Award! Both Kahia and Martono collected a single event championship title each in their pursuit of that famed title.
In the end the duo was just two points apart. The Indonesian edged ahead with 565 points to win the Champion Title and also took the trophy for Rookie Champion. Akash Gowda of Mumbai concluded his season in third place with a tally of 457 points, followed by Malaysia’s very own Isyraf Danish with 349 points.
The Meritus Awards Gala praised the outstanding work of other inspiring drivers, for example the team’s protégé and Indonesia’s premier Formula One driver and Formula E hopeful, Rio Haryanto was honoured with the ‘Driver of the Year’ award. Similarly Jazeman Jaafar of Malaysia was decorated for the award for the ‘Most Outstanding Achievement by an ASEAN National.’
The MAGs also recognised various national ‘Rising Stars.’ Presley Martono received the National Rising Star of Indonesia award while Isyraf Danish, Khalid Al-Wahaibi, Akash Gowda, Faine Kahia and Danial Frost walked away with the National Rising Star awards for Malaysia, Oman, India, New Zealand and Singapore respectively.
The MAGs strive to honour not just deserving young racing drivers but all who have made the year an outstanding success. In the inaugural awards ceremony, the Chairman of the Malaysian FIA affiliate (ASN), the Automobile Association of Malaysia (AAM), Tunku Mudzaffar Tunku Mustapha was bestowed with the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for his selfless contribution toward the Asian Autosport Ecosystem.
The amazing array of winners gracing the inaugural ceremony set the pace for the upcoming 2017-18 MAGs which sees 2017-18 season Daniel Cao, Kane Shepherd, Ugo De Wilde and Nazim Azman in strong contention for the titles. Follow the Formula 4 South East Asia Championship on its various social media platforms to keep up to date with all our news.