MOHAMAD HASIF WINS ROUND 1 SIC ROOKIE CUP
Twelve-year old Mohamad Hasif Zainal Abidin overcome racing jitters and a wet Sepang International Kart Circuit to win the opening round SIC National Karting Series Rookies Cup 2019, which was held over the weekend as part of the SIC IAME Series Asia event.
Participating in his first ever competitive kart race and aspiring to be a professional driver, the Standard 6 student from Sekolah Kebangsaan Lembah Keramat, Kuala Lumpur, said that he was happy and relief to mark the start of his racing career with a winning note especially being very nervous with first race jitters.
“I only start to do karting last year; and simply loved it. Hopefully, I can go all the way to become a professional driver. Now that I have won today for Round 1, the mission is clear, which is to win the overall title. Hopefully, I can repeat this victory in Round 2 at Langkawi,” said Mohamad Hasif, who was among 10 rookies in this year’s championship.
Selected from a special trial conducted by Sepang International Circuit (SIC) for inclusion in its Talent Development Programme, the nine other rookies are Saif Khalifa Erwin, Muhammad Feroz Fezril, Muhammad Daniel Hakimi Mohd Zahid, Firasz Azri Khairul Badri, Dani Irfan Hairul Anuar, Mohamad Hafiz Daniel Rozemen, Shogun Lim, Mohamad Anaqi Mohammad Hafifi and Saw Guan Xian.
Designed exclusively for Malaysians, the SIC Talent Development Programme, which covers both two-wheel and four-wheel motorsports, is a proud programme by the circuit to support the grassroot development and unearth new talents amongst Malaysians in an effort to build a strong base for motorsports culture amongst Malaysians. Each individual programme has its partner and for the SIC Rookie Cup, the technical support comes by KR Asia, which provides the go-karts and technical crew.
For continuity, SIC has included drivers from last season’s programme in this year’s competition with Sophia Zara Mustaffa Kamal and Hendra Ade Putra Priyanto continuing with the Rookies Cup while the Top 5 finishers from the inaugural champion Putera Hani Imran Halim, Putera Haikal Hakeem Halim, Aldrin Jiacheng Foo Cabiles and Putera Alex Qiefli Esam promoted to compete in the Cadet category while Raja Ariff Raja Azmi in the Junior category of IAME Series Asia 2019.
Second in a wet pre-final morning race for the Rookie Cup yesterday, Mohamad Hasif started from second on the grid for the deciding race; sharing the front row with Sophia Zara, who, however, was unable to take full advantage of her pole position. The track was drying up; but generally had wet patches around the 1,247-meter track.
Taking over leadership from Sophia Zara from the start of the race, Mohammad Hasif took full control of the 16-lap contest; taking the chequered flag in 15 minutes 51.870 seconds and 10.396 seconds ahead of second place, Hendra Ade Putra. Dani Irfan took third overall; completing the race in 16 minutes 8.817 seconds.
Met after the race, Sophia said that her engine bogged down at the start; resulting to her dropping to sixth by Turn 1. Her daring efforts to catch up with the leaders were made difficult by the back markers; and she could only finish fourth overall. Muhammad Feroz Fezril took fifth place.
The Cadet category was topped by Jacob Ethan Lauter of DRM Racing; beating his team-mates Putera Hani Imran and Timofey Mikhaylov, who finished second and third respectively. The Junior category was won by Putera Adam Halim of IS Racing; with Raja Ariff Raja Azmi of Stratros G51 taking second place, and Raja Haikal Hakim Halim of DRM in third to complete the podium for the category. Nik Zamir of IS Racing topped the Senior category; edging Amir Harris Jeffry of DRM Racing to second place; and Nazim Azman of IS Racing taking third.
A three-round championship, Round 2 for the Rookies Cup will be held in Langkawi on 3rd and 4th August as part of Round 5 of the SIC IAME Series Asia event. The championship returns to Sepang on 14th and 15th September for the final battle.