Nazim and Muizz in the running for leading awards at Meritus Gala

Malaysian driver Nazim Azman.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian drivers Nazim Azman (pic) and Muizz Musyafa are among the front-runners for the leading awards at the Meritus Awards Gala presented by Petron at Studio 1, Astro All-Asia Broadcast Centre tonight. The awards gala is held to fete the best drivers in the recently concluded season of the FIA Formula 4 Southeast Asia Championship (F4 SEA) fuelled by Petron.

Rising star Nazim, 17, will be banking on his blistering victory in the F4 SEA opening round staged as a F1 Grand Prix support race in October last year to land him some honours.

Rookie driver Muizz, 16, also had a great season and could walk away with some honours after finishing strongly in the last event (Event 5) in Sepang in April where he managed two podium finishes.

“I’m looking forward to the awards night. It was a great 2017 season but now, I need to double my efforts,” said Muizz.

“I’ve set my sights on top three positions. It requires a lot of hard work but I’m determined to make it happen.”

Also in the running are Daniel Cao of China, Kane Shepherd of Thailand and Ugo de Wilde from Belgium.

The 16-year-old Daniel had an impressive season and is a clear candidate to claim the overall top honours, making him the first-ever driver from China to claim an FIA F4 championship title.

The 17-year-old Shepherd won the 2016 Thailand Rotax Max Senior Championship before making his debut in F4 SEA in 2016 and De Wilde, 15, was voted Rookie of the Year in the French F4.

A total of eight categories are listed in this year’s award with the Overall Champion as the top prize, Rookie Champion, Fastest Lap, Best Drive, Best Recovery, Up and Coming Talent, Best Engineer and Best Mechanic.

“The young drivers put their heart and soul into what turned out to be an awesome season.

“Their efforts were clearly reflected in the high quality of the racing. The awards programme is a fitting finale,” said Peter Thompson, F4 SEA promoter and chief executive officer of Asian Autosport Action (AAA).

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