Sunday, December 19, 2010
Teens battle it out to get one step closer in becoming a part of Malaysia’s youngest racing team!
After sweeping through the nation at 5 different locations which garnered a whopping participation of 1345 hopeful applicants, the Top 30 boys and girls who were carefully and critically chosen headed down to Shah Alam for their next challenge by Asia Advanced Driving Academy (AADA) under the leadership of Chief Trainer, Kenvin Low last Friday.
The Top 30 candidates were selected based on their individual performance during the roadshows which includes driving skills, driver's race craft and creativity, mental acuity, personality, cultural flexibility, presentation and communication skills as well as other attributes. For the Top 30 challenge, these avid racers had to undergo intensive driving course and challenge which was divided into two segments; theory and practical. The theory covered main areas of defensive driving whereas the practical part put candidates on “trashole braking” and “skidding car control” test.
“I am very excited to be here today for this top 30 test. The tests conducted today have given me a better knowledge on handling car during emergency situation” said Zamer Han Abdul Halim from Kelantan.
“It is key to assess these not only in terms of their driving skills, but also their ability to take instructions,” said Kenvin Low.
“In addition to this, to become a good racer, discipline as well as the ability to cooperate with teammates is essential on the track. For example, the gesture of assisting a fellow teammate to get into the drivers seat and strapped in makes a difference as every second counts when you are in a race.”
Living testaments of the previous all female racing team, Red Bull Rookies, Puteri Ayu Jasmin and Carmen Lim were also present to give their support to the young drivers and were thrilled to be able to impart some of their knowledge to the RB 21 Driver Search Top 30.
“We have gone through extensive training modules and learned a great deal during our time,” says Puteri. “It has turned me into the racer that I am today and thanks to the guidance from Kenvin and other trainers, my skills have improved tremendously compared to the first time I sat behind the wheel of a race car. Therefore, I feel that the talent I see in these teenagers can be improved to greater heights if they are determined and committed to their trainings.”
“It takes more than just driving skills to be in a team, more so a racing team,” added Carmen. “A great amount of discipline and persistence is needed to push a person to the limit in performing at any endurance race especially Sepang 1000KM. I am very pleased to be here today to show support as it brings back fond memories for me when I first joined the search for Red Bull Rookies.”
Upon completion of today’s challenge and evaluation of performance, the Top 6 contestants will be announced sometime next month. They will then undergo an intensive ‘Boot Camp’ over a period of three days, where they have to go through a string of challenges in order to make it to the 3 most-wanted spots as the new RB 21 Driver.
The RB21 Driver Search (RB21) is a programme that funds, nurtures and grooms young talent for motorsports. The goal is to find, fund and nurture aspiring, up-and-coming Malaysian driving talent by preparing them to race in an International level endurance competition. The program also involves assistance in various aspects that are critical for success in racing: physical training, professional driving, skills, team dynamics, language and culture.
Red Bull Malaysia in previous years had successfully formed an all female racing team, “Red Bull Rookies” where females with the fervour for motorsports were trained to race in the Merdeka Millenium Endurance Race (MMER 2008), Sepang 1000KM Race 2009, and Sepang 1000KM Race 2010. The team made a sterling debut and continues to impress spectators by finishing the races and beating the seasoned drivers.