AFIQ READY FOR WET RACE KUALA LUMPUR (SEPT 23, 2010): Malaysia's best bet for a podium during the Singapore F1 Grand Prix weekend, Mohd Afiq Ikhwan, is ready for a wet and slippery ride at the Marina Bay Circuit. The Meritus Grand Prix driver,...
AFIQ READY FOR WET RACE
KUALA LUMPUR (SEPT 23, 2010): Malaysia's best bet for a podium during the Singapore F1 Grand Prix weekend, Mohd Afiq Ikhwan, is ready for a wet and slippery ride at the Marina Bay Circuit.
The Meritus Grand Prix driver, who was the best-placed Malaysian on the first day of the last Formula BMW Pacific race in China, said he can't wait to race on the street circuit. The Formula BMW Pacific Series is a support event for the Singapore Formula 1 Race.
"I really love the street circuit. It is more awesome than I ever imagined," said Afiq, who had one podium finish in China three weeks ago.
"Not only will this be my first street race, tomorrow's qualifying will be my first at night. I can't wait for it, even though we are likely to see a heavy downpour before and during the sessions.
"It has been raining every evening since we arrived and I have to prepare myself for a wet weekend."
The 19-year-old, said the lights around the Marina Bay circuit are fantastic as there is hardly any glare.
"This is something I didn't expect but it shows the organisers have done a great job to make it easier for us to race at night," said Afiq, who hopes to help the Malaysian team close the gap at the top of the team standings.
Meritus.GP, who have won the last seven Formula BMW team titles, are currently second in the standings, having collected 193 points from the first 10 rounds of the season while leaders Eurasia have 242 points. Eurasia's Richard Bradley leads the drivers' championship, followed by E-Rain's Jordan Oon and Meritus.GP's Tunjo.
Formula BMW Pacific will feature two 10-lap races 5.067km Marina Bay Circuit and Afiq knows how important it is for Meritus.GP to close the gap as there will be just three more races after Singapore - in Japan to race in support of the FIA World Touring Car Championship in Okayama next month while the final challenge of the 2010 season will come at the 57th Macau Grand Prix in November on another of the world's most demanding street circuits.
"We face a fight on our hands to keep the title we have won every year since 2003. I will give my best to help them the trophy in Malaysia," said Afiq.
Besides Afiq and Tunjo, Meritus.GP can also depend on Thailand's Pasin Lathouras to help them in Singapore. Lathouras has been consistently in the points in his debut season, scoring in eight of the 10 rounds so far.
With a sister series in Europe, the Formula BMW concept is a proven winner. Among the 20 team drivers in this season's FIA Formula One World Championship, there are now seven Formula BMW graduates: Bruno Senna, Nico Hulkenberg, Nico Rosberg, Adrian Sutil, Sebastian Vettel, Sebastien Buemi and Timo Glock. Formula BMW Pacific, although only established in 2003, has already seen its drivers progress to GP2, British and European Formula 3 and now, Formula 1.
-source: meritus gp