Tan Sri Muhyiddin announces MERITUS-GP scholarship for Malaysian driver KUALA LUMPUR (MARCH 30, 2010): Deputy Prime Minister YAB Tan Sri Dato' Muhyiddin bin Haji Mohd Yassin today announced that Asia's most successful motorsports team,...
Tan Sri Muhyiddin announces MERITUS-GP scholarship for Malaysian driver
KUALA LUMPUR (MARCH 30, 2010): Deputy Prime Minister YAB Tan Sri Dato' Muhyiddin bin Haji Mohd Yassin today announced that Asia's most successful motorsports team, MERITUS-GP will provide a 'Single-seater racing Scholarship' for Malaysian driver Mohd Afiq Ikhwan.
Afiq, who had a successful karting career, will make his single-seater debut in the 2010 Formula BMW Pacific Championship which flags off this weekend. Tan Sri Dato' Muhyiddin made the announcement at the Kelab Taman Perdana DiRaja Kuala Lumpur.
Today's event was also a trip down memory lane for Tan Sri Dato' Muhyiddin as he officiated MERITUS-GP's first ever Asian Press Conference in 1997, when he was the then-Youth and Sports Minister. Since then, MERITUS-GP has gone on to win 34 international titles.
"It is heartening to note that a championship winning team like Meritus is willing to sponsor young Malaysian talents such as Afiq," said YAB Tan Sri Dato' Muhyiddin.
"I'm touched by MERITUS-GP's generosity and wish the team luck as it goes in search of its eighth consecutive Formula BMW Championship crown.
"I attended their first ever Press Conference some 13 years ago and it looks like I was the team's lucky charm," YAB Tan Sri Dato' Muhyiddin added with a laugh.
MERITUS-GP co-owner Firhat Mokhzani, who as head of driver development has been behind all 34 of the team's titles, said: "We are honoured that YAB Tan Sri Dato Muhyiddin has graciously agreed to make the announcement regarding our Scholarship for Afiq.
"YAB Tan Sri Dato Muhyiddin was our first ever guest of honour when MERITUS- GP moved to Malaysia in 1997. Since then, we have grown from strength to strength and have won a record 34 international titles. .
"Over the years, MERITUS-GP has helped develop Malaysian motorsports and besides unearthing the nation's only two formula champions - Ng Wai Leong (Formula Asia in 2000) and Jazeman Jaafar (Formula BMW Asia, 2007), we have also upgraded our local technical and support crew.
"Thirteen years ago, when we first started racing in Asia, MERITUS-GP had an all-European crew. But now, with the exception of two educators/trainers, our Formula BMW Pacific crew comprises entirely of Malaysians."
Meanwhile, Afiq said he is honoured to be given the MERITUS-GP Scholarship.
"Everyone in motorsports knows about MERITUS-GP as it has been dominating racing for the last 13 years and I feel honoured it has deemed me worthy of receiving a Formula Scholarship," said Afiq, who turns 19 on Aug 8.
"I'm also grateful that our Deputy Prime Minister YAB Tan Sri Dato' Muhyiddin is present here today.
"I have followed closely some of MERITUS-GP's drivers' career and hope to follow in their footsteps by becoming a champion. I aim to make Malaysia proud in the championship and bring more honour to the team."
Besides Afiq, three other drivers - Colombian Oscar Tunjo, Indonesia's Dustin Sofyan and Thailand's Pasin Lathouras - will race for MERITUS-GP in this season's Formula BMW Pacific championships.
Also present at the Press Conference was Questnet Malaysia Chairman Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin Megat Khas.