Eddie hopes to bring more glory for Honda Malaysia

Published on August 9th, 2010

Eddie Liew delivered a sixth Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race (MMER) title for Honda Malaysia Racing Team at Sepang Circuit today, but declares that he is still hungry for more and aims to bring in more glory to the team.

“I regard today’s victory as the most important one. We’ve had near misses in the past two years; and I am glad to repay them with this win,” said Eddie, who also won the overall MMER crown in 2004 and four Class A title in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Partnering former A1GP Team Malaysia driver Aaron Lim and Rueben Wong, Eddie, who is regarded as Malaysia’s most successful touring car driver, took the #27 Honda Civic Type R race machine to finish eighth overall and first in the new Touring Production class.

“This win is a result of a combination of long hours, hard work and many preparations done by the whole HMRT. I believe I speak on behalf of Rueben and Aaron when I say that it is truly a team effort and we couldn’t have done it without everyone’s help.

“There are many factors which contributed to us winning the MMER 2010’s Touring Production Class Champion – the car and its ability to endure the 12-hour challenge, the teamwork in preparing the car and ensuring smooth pit stops throughout the race, the drivers in being careful, alert and adherence to the well-planned strategy and last but not least a stroke of luck!

“One Car 27, One Honda Malaysia Racing Team! We are proud to showcase our ‘Malaysia Boleh!’ spirit in conjunction with our 53rd Merdeka celebrations. I personally hope that I can continue to be part of this fantastic team next year!” Eddie said.

The team completed 281 laps; beating the trio from HKS Garage of Lai Wee Sing, Moh Yze Ming and Kelvin Phon by six laps. Third in the class was a team comprising of three siblings from Brothers in Racing, which managed 265 laps.

Congratulating the team, HMRT Team Principal Toru Takahashi said that the team members had performed remarkably and that their dedication was a perfect example of the Merdeka spirit of Malaysians.

“I believe the team will bring the same spirit of excellence in overcoming challenges, incorporating it into their daily tasks at Honda Malaysia. Our greatest challenge this year was in taking back the Championship title in the Touring Production Class with our motto “Rising to the Challenge”!

“At Honda, it is never only about winning, it is always about rising above the challenges and going beyond our limits. This fortitude is deeply rooted in Honda’s DNA and Challenging Spirit in racing as we continue to compete at the highest level of motorsports,” said Takahashi, who is also Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

Chalking his first win in the MMER, Rueben said the victory was brought by the sheer determination and hard work by the team members. He added that he was confident that HMRT will be able to retain the title.

“We have a complete team, a great performance race car and also two highly experienced team-mates, Aaron and Eddie. Kudos to the team members for the commitment, efforts and teamwork in winning this title!

“Throughout the preparations and during the race itself, I can see the HMRT team’s determination to fight for the title. All of them know their roles and communicate well with each other. It is the teamwork that enabled us to rise to the challenge together this year and win back the Touring Production Class Championship in MMER 2010!” he added.

Aaron described the victory as being special.

“Winning the MMER has always been something special for me as a Malaysian as this is our event. I would like to thank my teammates Eddie and Rueben, the team and everyone who made this win possible.

“I am excited that HMRT won the Touring Production Class Championship title this year! This win will not be possible without all the sweat, time and sacrifice invested in preparing for the race. I must say that every year that HMRT participates in MMER, we learn new things and continuously improve ourselves. And this year, it has paid off!

“Preparing for this year’s race was not easy. There were quite a few challenges in the MMER 2010. One of them is, of course, the changed regulation on tires. HMRT members and drivers had to adapt to and test out tires that we have never used before. Additionally, this year’s race started at midnight, which means longer period of driving in the dark,” he said.

Having been bred by the karts and graduating to single seater cars, Aaron’s MMER triumph only shows that the Kuala Lumpur born is an all-round driver.

“I love racing, and when you love racing as much as I do, you would love winning. The only thing that has stopped me from securing a series to take me to next level of racing is money,” he added.

“Sometimes it’s very disappointing, but as a professional, I have to keep focused instead of drowning myself in self pity,” said Aaron, who is also helping the country in building the next generation of motorsports stars.

When asked on starting a career in endurance racing or stock car racing, Aaron said he might consider it if the offer is right; citing the DTM series, Nascar, Le Mans series as the pinnacle if he chooses to do so.

After a glorious karting career which began in Belgium at a very young age, Aaron competed in the Formula BMW Asia (now Formula BMW Pacific) 2005 and 2006 season.

He then kept his options open for the next series to join. However, financial setbacks forced him to confine himself to one-off races, in which he usually manages to impress the paddock.

In 2006, he joined the A1 Team Malaysia team as the rookie driver to Alex Yoong, and later current Lotus F1 test driver Fairuz Fauzy.

Aaron is currently assisting the development of a few upcoming go-karters, such as Bryan Mehta, who is arguably the next most promising name in the business.

words: SIC   pix: Syafril Ismail

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