PETALING JAYA: After almost a decade of competing in the junior class, Harian Metro Y-TEQ SCK Honda Racing are now expanding their presence in the Petronas Asia Road Racing Championship with a confirmed SuperSports 600cc entry starting from 2014 onwards.
With the opening round set to kick off at the Sepang Circuit this weekend, the brand new project will see Asia Dream Cup graduate Mohd Fitri Ashraf Razali contest onboard a Honda CBR600RR, bringing the total number of riders competing in the SuperSports 600cc category to 22 this season.
Apart from Fitri, the only other Malaysian rookie competing in the premiere class is Petronas Hong Leong Yamaha’s Ahmad Afif Amran who graduated from the Underbone 115cc, where he emerged second overall last season.
Fitri’s senior team-mates Norizman Ismail and Ahmad Fazrul Sham meanwhile take on the Underbone 130cc challenge in the hope of retaining the best team award they won last season.
“We are thrilled about this new project. No doubt it will trigger big changes within the team but we are up for the challenge and we will give maximum effort to ensure its objectives are met,” said team manager Soong Chee Kieong.
“Fitri is only 20 and of all our riders, he has the best chance to proceed to the international championships. The time seems right that we open up a spot for him in the SuperSports 600cc.
“At the same time, competing in the premiere class is good for the team’s growth, especially the engineers who will get to learn about setting up the 600cc machines,” added Soong.
Fitri is looking forward to competing with Asia’s fastest riders as he hopes to hone his skills to proceed to the world stage, following in the footsteps of reigning champion and idol Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman who now competes in the World Moto2 Championship.
“This is a huge step and a new stage in my career. I know it is a very competitive class but this will not deter me from giving my best in every race.”
The SuperSports 600cc practice sessions will take place on Friday followed by the qualifying practice on Saturday and the final race on Sunday.