PAC: Meritus Sepang preactice report

Malaysian team shines in Formula BMW Pacific free practice SEPANG (APRIL 2, 2010): Rookies Oscar Tunjo and Mohd Afiq Ikhwan gave Malaysia's MERITUS-GP a blistering start at the Sepang International Circuit when they finished among the top...

Malaysian team shines in Formula BMW Pacific free practice

SEPANG (APRIL 2, 2010): Rookies Oscar Tunjo and Mohd Afiq Ikhwan gave Malaysia's MERITUS-GP a blistering start at the Sepang International Circuit when they finished among the top five drivers in the Formula BMW Pacific Series free practice today.

MERITUS-GP, who has dominated the Formula BMW series for the past seven years - winning all seven team championships and six driver titles - has four drivers on the grid for the 2010 season.

Tunjo, the youngest driver in the competition, only turned 14 in January, but drove like a seasoned professional to top the free practice with a time of 2:10.727 seconds. Afiq, meanwhile, was the fastest Malaysian rookie when he clocked 2:11.622 seconds to be placed fifth.

Two other MERITUS-GP drivers - Indonesian Dustin Sofyan and Thailand's Pasin Lathouras - finished 14th and 16th with times of 2:12.527 seconds and 2:12.604 seconds respectively.

Afiq, who is the recipient of a MERITUS-GP racing scholarship, had mixed feelings about his single-seater debut.

"I'm excited to have finally made my debut in Formula BMW but I know made too many mistakes on my flying lap," said Afiq, who had problems with the steering all session long.

"It feels great to be in the top five but, perhaps I could and should have done better. I hope to redeem myself tomorrow when we have our first qualifying session of the season and also our first race."

Tunjo, who was introduced to motorsports by his father 11 years ago, could not contain his joy at setting the quickest time today.

"It was a thrilling experience and my time today has given my confidence a big boost," said Tunjo, who set his best time 22 minutes into the session.

"I hope to maintain my pace tomorrow. I have a good car and the team has done a marvellous job. I feel good but need to stay focus for the entire race tomorrow."

Meanwhile, MERITUS-GP co-owner and head of driver development, Firhat Mokhzani said: "I'm quite satisfied with today's free practice as two of our drivers are in the top five. We can still improve further and I'm confident we can do better in tomorrow's qualifying session.

-source: meritus

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About this article
Series Formula BMW
Drivers Dustin Sofyan , Pasin Lathouras , Oscar Tunjo , Afiq Ikhwan