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Mar 10

Meritus set scorching pace

In Formula BMW Pacific practice

Meritus drivers testing at Sepang International Circuit (SIC) ahead of next month’s opening round of the Formula BMW Pacific showed they will once again be the team to beat.

Team champions for the last six years, Meritus Racing have completely dominated Formula BMW Pacific by also winning the Drivers’ and Rookie-of-the-Year crowns.

From left to right:  Dustin Sofyan – Firhat Mokhzani (owner) – Rio Haryanto

After three-days of driving round Malaysia’s Formula 1 track from last Tuesday, team owner Firhat Mokhzani said his boys have proven to be a second quicker than their rivals.

“I was pleasantly surprised with the drivers’ times when we tested at Sepang last week,” said Firhat, ahead of the final three days of testing which begins at SIC tomorrow.

“We have a new set of drivers this season but it didn’t take them long to get use to the car. I’m confident we can set quicker times when we resume testing.

This certainly augurs well for our 2009 campaign where we will defend our team, drivers’ and rookie titles.”

The team have yet to finalise their driver line-up, with only Indonesians Rio Haryanto, 16 and Dustin Sofyan, 14, confirmed for the new season.

Firhat said the team are still on the look out for talented Malaysians to continue Meritus’ proud tradition of unearthing unpolished local gems.

Two years ago, a then 14-year-old Jazeman Jaafar stunned the racing world when he outclassed a much older and experienced field by winning the drivers’ crown.

Jazeman’s pace and sheer driving courage has earmarked him as a potential Formula 1 driver. He and Earl Bamber, who won the Formula BMW title for Meritus in 2006 are seen as the hottest properties in Asian motorsports and could join an elite list of Meritus drivers such as India’s Narain Kartikeyan and Takuma Sato to graduate to Formula 1

The first round of the new Formula BMW Pacific season will be at the Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix from April 3-5.

Source: Meritus Racing