Race fans will have something extra to look forward to at the SIC Malaysian F1 Grand Prix this October 2nd – the 16th round of the exciting 2016 F1 season. Two promising Malaysian single seater race drivers – Nabil Jeffri and Akash Neil Nandy shall feature in the GP2 and GP3 grids respectively – both F1 support races to be held for the first time ever here in Malaysia.
Officiated over the weekend by the Minister of Youth and Sports Malaysia KhairyJamaluddin, accompanied byTan Sri Mokhzani Mahathir, Chairman of SIC and Dato’ Razlan Razali, Chief Executive Officer of SIC, the F1 support races to be run prior to the main event will be the penultimate rounds of the 11 race and 9 race schedule of the FIA GP2 and GP3 series. The two exciting series will start this May 15th at the Spanish GP, in which the two young Malaysian racers is racing a full season with their respective teams – Nabil with Arden International, and Akash with Jenzer Motorsport.
Dato’ Razlan was extremely delighted to have two Malaysian drivers in the GP2 and GP3 series. “Having Malaysian drivers competing during the 2016 Formula1 Malaysia Grand Prix in Sepang is undoubtedly something that the local fans have been yearning for. Both GP2 and GP3 are talent development series for drivers aspiring to achieve the coveted F1 driver position. Ardent fans of F1 in Malaysia will now be able to follow not just the F1 but also the GP2 and GP3 through the 2016 race calendar that will take our Malaysian boys through a thrilling season,” he said.
Dato’ Razlan said SIC had been pushing for the inclusion of GP2 and GP3 in the Formula 1 in Malaysia since the GP2Asia last raced in 2013 at the circuit. “We are pleased that the F1 is emulating MotoGP with the inclusion of the GP2 and GP3 as support races. This is what we, as the organiser and promoter of the Malaysian F1, have been asking for to make it more exciting for local fans, especially with the participation of young Malaysian talent this year. Furthermore, the GP2 and GP3 traditionally provided superb wheel-to-wheel excitement, thrilling fans every time in past seasons”, he added.
At 22 Nabil Jeffri along with Jimmy Eriksson were confirmed by Arden International for the 2016 GP2 season after successful tests last month in Spain. For Nabil it is a step up from the Euro F3 series where he’d spent the last few seasons of hi8s career. “This has been my lifelong dream and I am living it out in front of my fellow Malaysians – that is an adrenaline rush like no other. The Sepang Circuit is one many drivers find challenging, so I hope my experience on this track will help my performance, and I will do Malaysia proud. I hope Malaysians will come out to the circuit on race weekend and support both Akash and myself,” said Nabil. In another development, Nabil Jeffri has also been appointed M7 Pro Oil and Drive M7 ambassador. Having such a time-honoured involvement in motorsport the M7 brand name and Nabil appears set to take Malaysia to new heights in the international arena.
The GP2 series features cars with a staggering 600-plus hp and 600 kg weight with performance figures of 2.9 secs 0-60mph and over 330 km/h max speed. The cars also features the exact functionality of DRS used in Formula One, as well as other F1 technology in its designs and construction.
Recently awarded the McMillan Woods Rising Star Award 2016, in the Chequered Flag of the Year category, Akash Neil Nandy, 19 is another promising local lad with a run of impressive results earlier in his young career in karting and junior formulas. Major results included 2nd place at the 2010 Rotax Max Challenge Malaysia, 3rd placing 2013 Formula Masters China Series, and he’d almost won the Formula 3 Remus Championship in Europe, winning 10 out of 12 races, a spectacular pole position and race victory plus fastest lap at the 2013 Macau Grand Prix. In the 2013 Asian Le Mans Series Akash drove for the KC Motor Group and all the way into the history books, having qualified P2 and finishing P1. This year, Akash did his team proud by emerging overall champion in 1st place yet again in the GTM class on home ground. For this season’s GP3 series Akash Neil Nandy will be driving for Swiss-based Jenzer Motorsport. GP3 cars features 400 hp 3.4 liter V6 with performance figures of 285 km/h max speed and 3 seconds flat 0-100km/h.
The 2016 Formula 1 Malaysia Grand Prix takes place from 30 September until 2 October 2016, at Sepang International Circuit with GP2 and GP3 being the support races for the event. Early Bird promotional ticket prices are still available until 31 May 2016.
For information on this event and ticketing, call the Ticket Hotline at 03-8778 2222 or visit Sepang International Circuit’s website at http://www.sepangcircuit.com/