AP: Sepang rounds 3, 4, 5 preview

Motorsport a Hot Topic in Malaysia, says Lim. Sepang, Malaysia - Aaron Lim (Eurasia Motorsport) may be the only Malaysian driver flying the flag for his country next weekend in Rounds 3 to 5 of Formula BMW Asia but the 20-year-old BMW Junior...

Motorsport a Hot Topic in Malaysia, says Lim.

Sepang, Malaysia - Aaron Lim (Eurasia Motorsport) may be the only Malaysian driver flying the flag for his country next weekend in Rounds 3 to 5 of Formula BMW Asia but the 20-year-old BMW Junior is confident the sport is definitely on the rise in his country.

"For sure public perception of motorsport has changed in Malaysia over the last 10 years as there is much more interest in the sport now. The topic of motorsport is constantly brought up. Also, more people want to get into the sport now, particularly karting, compared to a decade ago when only a limited group of people were involved. I hope this will continue to grow in the future," he says.

With fellow countryman Alex Yoong becoming one of only a handful of Asian drivers to make it to Formula 1 so far, Lim also believes the commercial environment in Malaysia has improved along with awareness: "It still isn't easy to obtain sponsorship but, as the nation is now more aware of the sport, the commercial benefits to sponsors are more immediate and tangible. I guess since Alex, the expectations are higher but I'll do my best to fulfil these."

Motorsport is in Lim's family, and his father was a kart racer in Asia for two decades until the late 90's. Although Lim got his first kart aged 9, he didn't begin racing for another two years. Once he did though, he knew immediately motorsport was his future and from there became one of the region's most successful karters.

His Formula BMW Asia debut came last year and he finished the season 8th overall, despite missing out on four rounds. Fast forward to 2006, and the BMW Junior admits the BMW Education & Coaching programme which comes with his scholarship, has already made a major impact: "I'm learning so much more, not only about racing but also dealing with the media and sponsors. Joining the fitness programme has been one of the turning points in my career -- I had no idea how vital it is to be fit. I'm feeling so much fitter now and I can't wait to get back in the car to see the improvement!"

Joining Lim on the grid next weekend will be a field of exciting young drivers from eight countries in the Asia Pacific region -- from Bahrain in the Middle East, all the way down to New Zealand in the South Pacific.

Round 3 of Formula BMW Asia will be held on Saturday, May 13, with Rounds 4 and 5 held on the Sunday.

In other news, 2005 Formula BMW Asia Championship runner-up and Rookie Cup winner Michael Patrizi of Australia, who won full season in the Formula BMW UK Championship courtesy of BMW Motorsport, has been showing Europe that Asia Pacific drivers are a force to be reckoned with. Fifth on the Formula BMW UK Championship leaderboard after two rounds, Patrizi continues to adapt quickly to new circuits as he did to such tremendous effect in Asia last season.

In a change to the provisional calendar, the venue for the final three rounds of the 2006 Formula BMW Asia season will now be at Southern China's Zhuhai International Circuit on October 22.

-fbmw.asia-

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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Alex Yoong , Michael Patrizi , Aaron Lim