Saturday, May 1, 2010

AirAsia revs up motor sports, launches ASEAN Driver Development Program

28 April 2010

KUALA LUMPUR– The world’s best low-cost airline launched today the AirAsia ASEAN Driver Development Program, accelerating the growth of motorsports in the region.

The program provides an avenue for youth in the ASEAN region to pursue their dream of becoming professional race car drivers. It offers aspiring drivers a platform to polish their talents and effectively compete with world class drivers.

Two of the most promising young drivers in the region will be pioneering training under the AirAsia ASEAN Driver Development Program. Nabil Jeffri of Malaysia and Daim Hishammudin of Singapore will train under expert mentors including former Malaysian motor racing driver Alex Yoong.

Nabil, 16 years old, is the current Rotax Max Asia Champion and is the most promising karter that Malaysia has produced. He finished 6th in the Rotax world finals and will compete in the next Formula BMW Pacific race.

Daim, 12 years old, is Singapore’s young star karter. He is the reigning Rotax Max Champion in Cadets and has shown great potential in becoming one of the world’s top karters. He will be competing for the junior title in Asia and will also race in Europe.

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said, “The program aims to nurture more regional talents for professional racing. AirAsia is searching the field of talents in ASEAN for youngsters to join the program. AirAsia is focused on finding young drivers with great talent and who display the discipline and commitment needed for success. The program is open to male and female young driver aspirants.”

Alex said, “A successful driver needs to be well-rounded and have no weaknesses. It is especially important that they mature at a rate quick enough to complement their growing talent and experience. We must also work closely with the boys’ main sponsors so that they get the exposure needed to ensure their continued support.”

As a bonus, the young drivers will also be receiving AirAsia’s support for publicity and sponsorship. AirAsia will help the drivers raise their profiles in the ASEAN region and beyond and help them source other long-term corporate sponsorships.

Drivers accepted into the program will train at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia and in their respective home countries.

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