KUALA LUMPUR 29 APRIL – The participation of two young, upcoming Malaysian drivers, Nabil Jeffri 22, and Akash Neil Nandy, 19, in the GP2 and GP3 series respectively will be an added excitement for local fans at the 18th edition of the 2016 Formula 1 Malaysia Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC), from 30 September until 2 October.
Nabil Jeffri and Akash Neil Nandy will be participating in the GP2 and GP3 series respectively. This follows the agreement of the Formula One Management (FOM) to hold the prestigious GP2 and GP3 during the F1 race weekend in Malaysia.
The event was officiated yesterday by the Minister of Youth and Sports Malaysia Khairy Jamaluddin, accompanied by Datuk ’ Razlan Razali, Chief Executive Officer of SIC.
Nabil and Akash were introduced as drivers representing Malaysia, racing a full season in their respective teams, Arden International in GP2 and Jenzer Motorsport in GP3. Both series commence on 13 May 2016 in Barcelona, Spain with 11 rounds and 9 rounds for the GP2 and GP3 respectively. The penultimate round will take place at the Malaysian F1 at SIC on 2 October 2016.
Khairy Jamaluddin at the official announcement of GP2 and GP3 featuring Nabil Jeffri and Akash Nandy said, the two events have been the training ground for many racing legends such as Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher.
“ Nabil and Akash are in pursuit of their F1 dreams, following the footsteps of the greats and looking to stamp their own mark in GP2 and GP3.
“I commend SIC’s effort in bringing GP2 and GP3 races to draw more crowd to the Formula 1 in Malaysia. Over the years, international motorsports events have been the key highlights in Malaysia’s sporting calendar and since 1999, Malaysia has played host to the F1 annually,’’ Khairy said.
The ministry completely supports the role of SIC in ensuring the continuous development of motorsports. There have been long-term investments made in terms of infrastructure, talent development programmes and today we are witnessing the fruits of our investments, Khairy added.
“We cannot escape that this is a capital intensive endeavour, not only in organising motorsports events but also to be able to participate as a racer. This is where the private sector can play a part to help pick up some of the costs of these events as well as sponsoring the drivers or the competing teams,’’ he said.
Dato’ Razlan has also expressed his delight at having 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.