Young Malaysian drivers Aaron Lim Say Joon and Nik Iruwan Nik Izani are the first two up-and-coming racers to be given the coveted opportunity to taste the A1GP car at a UK test session at the end of this month.
Aaron Lim, 21, and Nik Iruwan, 21, will attend the second day of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport official tests, which take place from 30 – 31 August at Silverstone .
A1 Team Malaysia drivers, Alex Yoong and Fairuz Fauzy, will be returning to the A1GP car in preparation for the second season of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, but will temporarily hand over the car to the two rookies so that they can experience the speed and thrill of driving a 550 horsepower racing car.
Yoong says, "We need to secure the long term future of A1 Team Malaysia and use it to bring on new, aspiring racing talent from our homeland. The Silverstone test is a good location to let Aaron Lim and Nik Iruwan sample the power and handling of an A1GP car. I'm sure it will be in safe hands with these two talented racers and I think they will enjoy their laps behind the wheel."
Aaron Lim started his motor racing career in national karting championships, before contesting in International series, and in 2004 represented his country at the Asian Karting Championship in Macau, dominating from the outset, claiming a new lap record, and taking victory by over 3 seconds. Moving to the scholarship class of the Formula BMW Asian series in 2005 Aaron Lim continued to impress and despite a minimal budget and missing four rounds of racing, he notched up five top five finishes and two third place podiums. This season he continues with his motorsport education, competing in the Championship class of the Formula BMW Asian series.
He says of the upcoming test, "One of my goals is to be a driver for A1 Team Malaysia, so this is a very important opportunity for me. I didn't expect to be driving the car so soon, but I'm really looking forward to it. I've watched the progress of the team since it was launched and it will be a privilege to be part of the team for a day at the end of August."
Nik Iruwan is a KL based racer who also started his career in karting championships and after 10 years of successful competition, was awarded a scholarship for the Formula BMW Asia Championship in 2004 scoring numerous top six finishes and a second placed podium position in the F1 Chinese Grand Prix supporting race. He moved to Europe for 2005 to advance his driver training at the prestigious La Filiere FFSA Racing School.
"I can't wait to be in the cockpit of the A1GP car. It will be the most powerful racing car I've ever driven, so that's exciting. With its paddle shift gears and an advanced technology braking system, I'm sure it'll be a completely new experience. The whole day, working with the team, Alex and highly professional engineers, will also be a very good learning opportunity for me."
A1 Team Malaysia finished fifth in the debut season of the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport with Alex Yoong racing to victory in the final event in Shanghai, China, capping a strong season of racing which included 3 podiums, 1 fastest lap and 1 pole position. The team is committed to develop Malaysian young driving talent and create a long term programme to sustain A1 Team Malaysia and ensure that it can continue to be represented successfully in the Series.
Jack Cunningham, Chief Executive of A1 Team Malaysia, says, "This is the only pre-season test event that is scheduled for the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport, so we felt it was an opportunity we shouldn't miss out on to give some of the rising talent of Malaysian motorsport a few laps in an A1GP car to add to their experience. I'm sure both Aaron Lim and Nik Iruwan will rise to the challenge and enjoy their time with A1 Team Malaysia. Young drivers like Aaron and Nik are our future.
I am delighted that Alex and Fairuz will be on hand to assist them with their familiarisation laps and then for Alex and Fairuz to carry out the full test programme we have planned in readiness for the start of the new season."