AP: 2008 scholarship preview

Youngsters gear up for chance of a lifetime. Twenty six fledgling racers, all aged between 16 and 21, are preparing to do battle this week to earn one of the three coveted scholarships on offer from BMW Motorsport. The scholarships include a...

Youngsters gear up for chance of a lifetime.

Twenty six fledgling racers, all aged between 16 and 21, are preparing to do battle this week to earn one of the three coveted scholarships on offer from BMW Motorsport. The scholarships include a cash contribution of 50,000 Euro (approximately 70,000 USD) towards a season in the region's most professional and prestigious single seater series, Formula BMW, as well as a free, season-long Education and Coaching programme.

The Scholarship Trials, which will be held from December 13 to 16 at Malaysia's Sepang International Circuit, are specifically designed to allow BMW Motorsport professionals to assess which candidates have the greatest potential. Candidates are judged by a team of BMW Motorsport professionals who look for natural talent, aptitude, fitness and ability to learn - fast.

Candidates vying for the chance of a lifetime this weekend hail from no fewer than 10 countries, reflecting the truly international nature of the series, and for the first time ever three of the hopefuls are female.

A record number of young karters from Australia are taking part this year, with nine of the 26 hopefuls from the nation which has a strong motorsport heritage. Dylan Young, Jordan Oon, Paul Draper, Christopher Reindler, Chris Wootton, Guiliana Steel, Jessica Golding, David Sera and Brendan Nelson are all set to take to the Malaysian circuit to impress the BMW Motorsport instructors.

From Indonesia comes 19-year-old Indonesian Ryan Haryanto who beat three other candidates to earn an all-expenses-paid trip to Kuala Lumpur during a driver talent search organised by Formula BMW Asia and PT BMW Indonesia in July this year. Having impressed the assessors at home, the multiple Indonesian karting champion earned the opportunity to take the next step in his career and win a Formula BMW Asia scholarship this week.

The brilliant performance of South African Kyle Mitchell this year, who clinched a scholarship for the 2007 season and went on to take the Rookie Cup title in considerable style, has ignited massive interest in the series from his native country. As a result, four South African drivers will be arriving in Malaysia this week each determined to follow in Mitchell's footsteps. Lady driver Tasmin Pepper is joined by Alex Jacovides, Arnold Neveling and Simon Moss for the trials.

Another Formula BMW Junior who made his mark in 2007 both in his native China and much closer to home was David Zhu. Younger brother Hu An will be put through his paces by the assessors this week and hoping for a chance to follow his sibling.

Syafiq Ali and Calvin Wong will be carrying the hopes of their native Malaysia, while Marlin Stockinger is flying the flag for the Philippines.

India, a country which is a hot motorsport topic at present, is represented by Daanish Dalal, Aditya Patel and Zaamin Jaffer.

Other young hopefuls include Ali Saad of Pakistan, Dear Schilling of Thailand, Mikashi Shuto of Japan, and Renee Rommeswinkel, a China resident.

From Singapore, the latest addition to the FIA Formula One World Championship, comes Mohammad Nasri Naufal.

The benefits of winning coveted scholarship and becoming a Formula BMW Junior are far greater than just financial support and enrolment in the region's most comprehensive and professional training programme. Close co-operation with the BMW Sauber F1 Team is a vital component of the programme, and simply being selected by one of the world's biggest and most respected names in motorsport immediately draws attention to the Formula BMW Juniors, and with it the support of high-profile commercial sponsors and the interest of the international motorsport community.

In order to provide all drivers with identical opportunities for success, equality is the bedrock of Formula BMW. All drivers are equipped with the tightly regulated FB02 car, and set-up changes and testing sessions are strictly controlled, thereby reducing cost variables and placing driver talent at the forefront of the programme.

The Education and Coaching Programme, unique in the Asia Pacific region, is designed to equip a driver with all the knowledge and expertise he needs for a successful racing career. Instruction is provided in physical and mental fitness, nutrition, driving technique and strategy, chassis set-up and vehicle dynamics, sponsorship and media and public relations.

-credit: asia/bmw.de

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