PETALING JAYA: Malaysian driver Mohd Afiq Ikhwan has the potential to contend for top honours in the inaugural JK Racing Asia Series this year.
The teams have been testing in Sepang over the past week and Afiq has surprised all with his race craft, having topped the time sheets in eight of 10 sessions.
Afiq has been winning in regional and national karting for the past five years and was awarded a corporate scholarship to race with the Malaysian-owned Meritus Grand Prix team in the Formula BMW Pacific Series last year.
For the next three seasons, JK Tyres have taken over the title rights of Asia’s premier driver development series.
Besides Afiq, Meritus GP are also working with 14-year-old Akash Neil Nandy.
“Akash has also been impressing everybody with his times and has consistently been in the top eight during all the test sessions over the past two months,” said Meritus GP team owner Firhat Mokhzani.
“It would be great to have two winning Malaysians in the team in the inaugural year of the JK Racing Asia Series. We are really impressed with the pace that both Afiq and Akash have been consistently showing.
“Afiq, with his one-year experience, is now very mature and I believe he is one of the possible front-runners for the coming season.
“Akash commenced testing with the team last December and he was immediately on the pace.
“His fitness offsets his young age and I am convinced that he has the ability to be on the podium in his rookie year.”
Sepang will host the first round as a support event to the Petronas Malaysian F1 Grand Prix from April 8-10.
There will also be rounds as support races for the Singapore and inaugural India GP.