Boost for Sepang in new F4 South-East Asia calendar

  • Motorsport
  • Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Nazim Azman (middle) was the last Malaysian to win the SEA F4 Championship at the 2017 Petronas Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix. Nazim is on top of the podium with Kane Shepard of Thailand (left) and Eshan Pieris of Sri Lanka. The presenters are Tunku Mudzaffa AAM Chairman and SIC chairman Tan Sri Azman Yahya (right).

PETALING JAYA: As the worldwide movement control orders start to roll back, Formula 4 South-East Asia are set to announce a shortened 2020 race calendar with all events to be staged at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) in Malaysia. The proposed 16-race 2020 F4SEA Championship calendar will feature four events in Sepang to minimise risks and at a cost-effective fee of RM187,426.76.

However, the plan is still pending approval of motorsport’s governing body International Automobile Federation (FIA).

“Fans will not miss a moment of action as the races will continue to be live-streamed and broadcast on the Fox network and our new website and social media will be regularly updated,” said F4SEA’s promoter Peter Thompson.

F4SEA, which serves as the first step to a professional career, has already produced some of its graduates who have since signed with Sauber and Renault F1 junior teams. It also helps to train and develop Malaysians into skilled engineers and technicians.

At the 2017 Petronas Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix Finale, the F4 winner was Malaysian Nazim Azman, who has since gone on to win in the British F3 championship.

Engineering F4 SEA is the Meritus. GP team of Great Professionals – Malaysia’s national motorsport team and winner of 36 international FIA championships over the last 25 years.

The graduates of the Meritus.GP outfit have collectively won the triple crown of motorsport – Le Mans, Monaco and Indy 500 – and 10 drivers have progressed to F1.

Earl Bamber, who won podiums in GP2 Asia and has twice won Le Mans outright in LMP1, was mentored and supported throughout his junior career by Meritus.GP.

F1 driver Alexander Rossi went on to win the Indy 500 in 2016, while local champion Jazeman Jaafar won the World Series by Renault race at the Monaco Grand Prix in 2015.

“F4 SEA is producing world-class competitors and I’m convinced that at least one of our 2019 winners Hadrien David of France, Lucca Allen of Ireland and Finland’s Elias Seppanen will be a future world champion,” said Thompson.

For 2021, F4 SEA plans to expand its reach and promote Malaysian skills to new emerging territories, returning to a 10-12 event format and broadcasting at least 40 races on global networks.
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