Ten sponsored karters selected for the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) X30 National Series plan to take the opportunity handed to them in the opening race this weekend.

The 10, who received sponsorship from SIC to participate in the series after coming out tops in the SIC X30 talent search selection shootout last week, will be able to strut their stuff in the Rookies Cup in the first of the three-round series, beginning at the SIC go-kart circuit this week.

From the 10 selected, only two girls made the cut. But that will not deter nine-year-old Sophia Zara Mustaffa Kamal as she eyes a podium finish this weekend.

“I hope to stand out amongst the boys this weekend,” said the Subang Jaya lass, who had experience racing in the club-level KRD Championship in 2016 and 2017.

“For sure it will be different racing in the national series compared to racing club events but I’m really looking forward to improve my lap times. “I hope I can be consistent with my lap times as I’m aiming to finish on the podium,” added Sophia.

For 12-year-old Nurul Auni Nasharuddin, although the SIC X30 National Series will not be her first foray in go-kart racing, it will be the first time for her to race in a competitive field. The Senawang lass had participated in the KRD Championships last year, a club level competition. “I’m really excited to be racing in a proper, competitive event like the national series. This is a first for me and I intend to do well this weekend,” she said.

“I even pestered my father (Nasharuddin Abd Aziz) to buy me a new CIK-approved helmet, which was quite expensive to his dismay. “I want to follow in the footsteps of my sister Nurul Husna, who had raced in the Malaysia Championship Series in the Classic Car category when I’m 16,” added Auni.

The eight others selected from the shootout are Putera Hani Imran Halim, Putera Haikal Hakeem Halim, Aldrin Jiacheng Foo Cabiles, Raja Ariff Raja Azmi, Adam Harris Jefry, Ahmad Mikhael Ahmad Shareza, Hendra Ade Putra Niko Ode Prayitno and Putera Alex Qiefli Esam.

The 10 drivers will be assigned to six established teams that have made their marks in the national go-kart scene.

 The teams are Prodigy Racing, Stratos Motorsports, I.S Racing, RL Karting, 7 Racing and DRM Racing. Founded by team principal James Russell in 2010, Stratos Motorsports won three championship titles in 2011: the Rotax Max Challenge DD2 title, All Star Karting KF3 title, and the Malaysian Karting Championship Junior title. The team also managed to put two drivers – Daniel Woodroof and Silvano Christian in the Rotax Grand Finals in Portugal in 2012. 

RL Racing was established by former national karting champion Richard Lim, who now acts as the team principal. The team  have produced notable names in the world of racing including Richard’s son Aaron, a former A1 Team Malaysia driver, Melvin Moh (Formula BMW Pacific driver), Jazeman Jaafar (Formula BMW Europe), Calvin Wong (top national karter), Bryan Mehta (reigning Asian Karting Champion) and Fahmi Ilyas (most promising Formula BMW Pacific driver) to name a few.

Prodigy Racing was formed in 2011 by Ng Wai Leong, an experienced hand in the world of karting. With their base at the Shah Alam go-kart circuit, the team are dedicated to produce future champion go-karters. Former race driver Rohairijaz Ropin created DRM Racing in 2010 with focus on talent development, driver management, driver coaching as well as team management.

In addition to the 10 karters from the SIC x30 talent search programmme, SIC will also be partly sponsoring seven other drivers in the national series. The sponsorship covers the supply of tyres for the drivers. They are: Bradley B. Anthony (senior category), Alister Yoong (senior), Aaron Hakim Mohamad Haikal (cadet), Adam Mikail Mazrul Haizad (cadet), Putera Adam (junior), Nik Zamir Zakwan (senior) and Amer Harris Jefry (senior).

The SIC X30 series will run for three rounds, starting with Round 1 on April 28-29 in conjunction with X30 Asia Series at SIC go-kart circuit, Round 2 on June 30-July 1 (SIC go-kart circuit) and the final round on July 28-29 at Shah Alam go-kart circuit in conjunction with X30 Asia.

The SIC X30 talent search programme is organised in collaboration with Axle Motorsport, run by former Formula 1 driver Alex Yoong. From the X30 series, drivers will have the opportunity to climb up the ladder to race in the F4 South East Asia (F4SEA), the F4 European series and later on the F3 series in Europe.  Ultimately, the aim is to race in the prestigious World Endurance Championship (WEC) and Le Mans 24 Hours in France.

Alternatively, drivers can graduate into the TCR Asia Championship. From there, drivers will have the opportunity to race in the TCR Europe Series before ultimately competing in the FIA World Touring Car Cup.

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