Motorsports talents ready to put Raya joy on hold


  • Motorsport
  • Thursday, 22 Jun 2017

Nabil Jeffri back at Sepang International Circuit to catch the Malaysian Formula 1 race last year.

PETALING JAYA: Hari Raya Aidilfitri can wait for Malaysia’s motorsports talents as they bid to keep the Jalur Gemilang flying high in the FIA Formula 2 Championship and MotoGP this year.

Nabil Jeffri (pic) will be competing in the fifth round of the Formula 2 Championship at the Baku Circuit in Azerbaijan this weekend.

The 23-year-old is hoping to join a Formula One team within the next two years and has everything to prove despite this being his first year with Trident Team.

“It’s the next step before you move up to Formula 1 and it’s so competitive,” said the 23-year-old Nabil, who is one of eight drivers still looking for their first point.

However, Nabil can take heart from his performance at the previous race – in Monaco last month where he finished 11th.

“I just missed out on a point. But the performance in Monaco has made me more determined to work hard for better results.

“Training continued as usual for me although it is Ramadhan. It’s good as I train myself to be mentally stronger.

“Anyway, I can still celebrate Hari Raya after I finish racing,” said the Italy-based Nabil, who scored two points with a best finish of seventh in Baku in the GP2 Series last year.

Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah will also be racing in the Dutch round of the Moto2 world championship with Petronas Raceline Malaysia.

“It’s not the first time I’ll be spending Hari Raya away from my family. I’m used to it because of my commitments with my team.

“I follow the local time for the breaking of fast in Spain and cook my own meals,” said Hafizh, who is aiming for another good result at the Assen Circuit in Holland on Sunday.

Hafizh fought from 23rd on the starting grid to finish an impressive 10th at the Catalunya Motorcycle Grand Prix in Barcelona, Spain.

Hafizh is 14th in the overall standings with 29 points.

Adam Norrodin of SIC Racing Team will not get the chance to spend Hari Raya time with his family for the first time this year as he is competing in the Moto3 race this weekend.

“There was a three-week break in the calendar last year after the Dutch Grand Prix, so I got to celebrate Hari Raya with my family in Parit Raja (Johor).

“But I’m prepared emotionally as this is my second year racing in Europe.

“I’ll just focus on my racing,” said the 19-year-old.

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