Cao clinhes overall title as Muizz bags rookie honours

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#Scholarship and “McLaren F1 Evaluation” for top performers

It was a joyous night for Chinese rising star Daniel Cao when he bagged the Overall Champion award followingan impressive performance in the 2017 FIA Formula 4 Southeast Asia Championship fuelled by PETRON season which concluded in April.

Rookie driver Muizz Musyaffa and Nazim Ahmad brought cheers to the home fans when they claimed the 3rd Rookie Champion and the Best Drive awards respectively at the MERITUS Awards Gala presented by PETRON held at the ASTRO All-Asia Broadcast Centre in Bukit Jalil here tonight.

The talented Muizz, 16, had a stunning season, which included two strong podium finishes in Sepang in the last round. Fired up by his success, the youngster is now looking forward to the new season and aiming to turn in even better results.

Nazim, 17, who also competes in Europe, was selected for the Best Drive award following his blistering victory in the F4 SEA opening round stage as a F1 GP Support Race 2017 in October.

It was double celebration for Daniel,who earlier stepped up onto the stage to pick up the Fastest Lap Award,recorded at the Sepang International Circuit during the championship.

Tonight’s Awards Gala is held to celebrate the best drivers in the recently concluded season of the F4SEA season which was held over an eight-month period with races taking place at circuits in Sepang, Thailand and the Philippines.

The 16-year old Daniel, who notched 7 first-placed victories throughout the season, brushed aside his closest contenders Kane Shepherd of Thailand and Belgian young ace Ugo de Wildewho came in as 2nd and 3rd Overall champions respectively. The Overall Champion title comes with 12 highly sought after FIA Super Licence Points.

Shepherd was crowned as the Best Rookie of the championship, winning over Japan’s Hibiki Taira and Muizz.

Meanwhile, following his promising feat, Muizz was awarded a Scholarship to pursue his racing dreams.

F4SEA also revealed today that four drivers would be given the opportunity to be evaluated by the world’s leading F1 team, McLaren. The drivers will have a money-can’t-buy experience in an F1 atmosphere at the team headquarters in Woking, Surrey in England. UK.

Earlier in his speech, F4 SEA and CEO of Asian Auto Sport Action (AAA) Promoter, Peter Thompson expressed optimism over the future of F4 SEA championship. “F4 not only helps grow racing talent but provides an abundance of career paths. We train and employ technicians, mechanics, engineers, cameramen, journalists and even TV producers!

The Meritus Awards Gala is designed to reward, motivate and inspire motorsport careers. To ensure the long-term sustainability of the motorsport industry here in Asia, we must foster careers, starting from F4, the federation’s grass roots development formula,” he said.

Petron Head of Retail Puan Faridah Ali said: “The sponsorship helped us in promoting Asian auto sports in the region and boost the careers of young drivers by giving them a platform to further hone their skills. We are also proud to play a part in the careers of these homegrown talents that are quickly moving on to the top of the F4 SEA Championships. We hope that through our participation in the competition we are able to discover more local and regional talents and help create the next generation of professional racing drivers from Southeast Asia. It gives us pride seeing them graduate from Formula 4 to other Formula races.”

The Awards, organised by F4 SEA Promoters Meritus.GP and in collaboration with PETRON as Official Fuel and Engine Oil Sponsor of F4 SEA Championship, aim to profile and reward the region’s young racing talents for theirachievement in the FIA-sanctioned event. The drivers are judged on their performances over five rounds of competitive racing in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.

The Awards
1st Overall Champion: Daniel Cao (CHN)
2nd Overall Champion: Kane Shepherd (THA)
3rd Overall Champion: Ugo de Wilde (BEL)

1st Rookie Champion: Kane Shepherd (THA)
2nd Rookie Champion: Hibiki Taira (JPN)
3rd Rookie Champion: Muizz Musyafa (MAS)

Fastest Lap
Sepang, Malaysia: Daniel Cao
Buriram, Thailand: Ugo de Wilde
Clark, Philippines: Daniel Cao

Best Drive: Nazim Ahmad (MAS)
Best Recovery: Luke Thompson (IRL)
Up & Coming Talent: Alessandro Ghiretti (MOR)
Best Engineer: Azizul Azfar
Best Mechanic: Shah Effendy

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