A long seven weeks away from the track is nearly over and this couldn’t come soon enough for the two Malaysian drivers selected to represent their nation at the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport event in Taupo, New Zealand.
Fairuz Fauzy and Aaron Lim have been selected to drive the A1 Team Malaysia car for the fourth round of the current series and both are eager to be back in the cockpit, doing the job they love. The last time the duo were behind the wheel of the A1GP Powered by Ferrari car was at Sepang circuit in Kuala Lumpur for the team’s home race weekend last November. The event holds bittersweet memories for the team with a sure-fire third placed podium spot wiped out by a radio glitch which caused an unnecessary pitstop. Fauzy recovered to 10th place and a valuable point for the team, but that is all behind the team now and the attention is firmly on the races ahead.
Fauzy says of the Taupo challenge, “I’ve only driven this track on a Friday morning practice session in 2007, so I don’t have any race experience here. When you drive on a circuit but don’t actually get the chance to race you always want to go back and do this, so I’m pleased to be representing Malaysia there for the A1GP event. It doesn’t worry me that I haven’t raced, as I will have the practice sessions to reacquaint myself with the layout and characteristics of it. Of course I’ll be in the same position as everyone on the grid as none of us have driven the new car here.
“My memories of the country are very good – clear blue skies, sunny, not too warm and very beautiful, so I’m looking forward to returning there.”
Lim says of driving at Taupo, “I drove in the Friday session last year, so my experience is a little more recent than Fairuz’s! I found it quite a difficult track to learn as there were so many corners in a short lap. I think it’ll be a better track to drive in the new car, although it’ll be a test of braking distances for me. The carbon brakes are excellent, so the aim will be to be as smooth as possible. It’s quite a narrow track, so if you make a small mistake you’re off the track before you know it or spinning round, not that I’m aiming to experience either of these problems.
“Taupo is a great location for the A1GP series. I think we’re the only top level international racing championship that reaches the heart of New Zealand, but the fans are very knowledgeable and are very enthusiastic. I’m really looking forward to going back there.”
Fauzy and Lim are already in New Zealand allowing themselves a little extra time to prepare themselves for their return to racing action.