Published on June 28th, 2011

The official selection of the team was conducted at the Sepang International Circuit where fresh and new drivers were chosen to join the Red Bull Rookies Racing Team for the 2011 season. The team has today announced that Mark Darwin, Siti Shahkirah Shaharul, Emmiline Ang and Fauziah Binti Hj Haziz to spearhead driving duties for the upcoming Sepang 1000KM race in December.

Sepang 1000KM Race 2011 will see drivers from three countries representing the infamous rookie team. Emmiline Ang, 23 was announced as the first Singaporean Rookie to ever join the team whereas Fauziah Binti Hj Haziz, 26 also known as Ogy will be taking over the responsibility from last year’s Bruneian drivers.

Emmiline and Ogy are among the top 3 “Red Bull Female Driver Search” candidates from their respective countries and the lasses will join forces with the winners of Malaysia’s driver search programme, Siti Shahkirah Shaharul, 17 and Mark Darwin, 21.

The line-up was announced by the team manager, Mr Kenvin Low after their final evaluation session today at Sepang Circuit which was assisted by the renowned Pentagon Racing Team. Commenting on their selection, Kenvin said “Our main goal was to search for talents with steely determination, enduring physicality, strength of mind, and dynamic personality to be part of our multinational team. Those who have been selected today will take on the considerable responsibility of working towards, and sharing, the aspirations of their homeland”.

Drivers were evaluated on the basis of their basic driving and technical knowledge, proven teamwork capabilities and high fitness levels. Red Bull Malaysia together with Asia Advanced Driving Academy (AADA) have been working on this project since December 2010 with its aim of putting together a group of true drivers to represent the Red Bull Rookies.

“There are some vast skills, some raw talent and a lot of passion in all 5 finalists from Singapore and Brunei. They were all equally good and so we decided to do a final shoot out to determine the best driver. I can now say that we are very happy with our current driver line-up; not only will we be able to take part in the race, but there is a great shot at exceeding the benchmark set previously. In addition to that, we will be racing with a new car this year and I believe that Satria Neo is a competitive car, and we are incredibly enthusiastic about the team’s performance on race day,” he added.

The Malaysian drivers were announced in March 2011 and the young drivers are undergoing intensive training and testing including trial races at the Formula One Support Race, Malaysian Super Series (MSS) and also the recent High Performance Challenge Race by Motorsports Association of Malaysia in which they performed remarkably with flying colours.

“Having the chance to be part of the Red Bull Rookies this year as well as being the first male member of the team is incredible for me and a major step in my motorsports track record. Obviously, what they’ve been able to accomplish in the last two years is unbelievable, which makes this an ideal situation for me to push myself further,” explained Mark Darwin, the 21 year old engineering student.

On the other hand, the youngest team member, Siti Shahkirah Shaharul said, “I am extremely happy to have been selected as one of the Red Bull Rookies what more representing Malaysia. The programme has successfully established female racers such as Puteri Ayu Jasmin and Carmen Lim in previous years. I really hope I can do well in this race and also hoping to build on their successes and maintain the 100% finish record.”

Emmiline and Ogy are thrilled to be racing for the first time. “It’s an honour and I couldn’t be happier to have an opportunity to represent the team in racing in one of Asia’s leading endurance race as it is a great race, very competitive. I look forward to start the trainings and prepare for the race. I hope I will do my country proud as well,” said Emmiline.

“I am extremely happy to be given this chance. It feels great to be here as it’s a dream come true for me as I’m an absolute adrenaline junkie. I feel that I’m ready to give my very best and am very confident in this team. My focus is on preparing as thoroughly as possible for the race, and enjoy every moment of this once in a lifetime experience,” added Ogy.

In preparation of the final selection Track Day today, all 5 candidates from Singapore & Brunei were provided with a full day defensive driving course of both theory and practical sessions last Sunday where they went through intensive training modules in learning the critical and essential aspects of racing – advanced driving, defensive driving, physical training, team dynamics and racing techniques.

No doubt, these feisty ladies still have much to learn, nevertheless, based on the training session recently, as well as their dedication, determination and commitment to the sport, it all points to this year’s Sepang 1000KM race being a very exciting one!

words & pix: Red Bull Malaysia


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