Irish roots stem new Formula 4 South East Asia Championship
Wexford’s Peter Thompson, formerly of Peter Thompson Motorsport (PTM), in recent years with Meritus GP and now with The Asian Autosport Action Group (Triple A) Sdn Bhd, in partnership with the Automobile Association of Malaysia (AAM), has announced the introduction of the Formula 4 South East Asia Championship, certified by FIA.
Triple A is the Promoter for Formula 4 South East Asia, and the AAM will be the lead FIA affiliate representing all participating FIA SEA zone affiliates. Formula 4 South East Asia will be the most cost-effective of all the Formula 4 championships in the world.
With over 30 years in the motorsport industry, Triple A has successfully trained Asian drivers Jazeman Jaafar, Rio Haryanto, Takuma Sato and Narain Karthikeyan – who have gone on to win in Europe and experienced racing in Formula 1. Its 2006 champion Earl Bamber has just won the 2015 24 Hours Le Mans as a Porsche works driver.
Formula 4 South East Asia will run as an FIA single organisation championship, similar to AsiaCup’s one-team, one-make, one-data and one-cost concept, ensuring a cost-effective transition to formula racing. Driver budgets will be within the FIA Formula 4 recommended fee of €100,000. The 2016 race calendar will consist of up to six events, with 24-30 races on the world’s newest race circuits in South East Asia.
The all-inclusive driver’s fee includes: registration, entry fees, race-car, race engineering services, consumables, logistics, race tyres, European engineers and driver coaches. The only extras are testing, wet tyres and any damage.
The following circuits and countries are planned for the Formula 4 South East Asia race calendar: Sepang Malaysia, Marina Bay Singapore, Buriram Thailand, Clark Philippines, Penbay Taiwan, Sentul Indonesia and Buddh India.
The F4SEA race-car, chassis and engine will be presented to the media and drivers during the final event of the AsiaCup championship on the 11th December at Sepang International Circuit.
Peter Thompson, Triple A, CEO: “It is an enormous privilege to be selected by the AAM and FIA as the Promoter for the Formula 4 South East Asia Championship. As a motorsport team, we have over 20 years activation and winning experience in Asia. As a Promoter, we organised the FIA-approved AsiaCup Series and trained over 60 drivers. As a race team, MERITUS.GP has won 36 FIA Asian motorsport titles and our drivers have gone on to race in F1 and Le Mans. Over the last three years, the AsiaCup Series has helped shape Asian winners who have gone on to win international races. The new Formula 4 race-car will be fitted with up-to-date F1 technology, including paddle shift, and data systems, with built-in cameras for on-track coaching, as well as a fast 160bhp engine.”
Firhat Mokhzani, F4SEA, Managing Director: “MERITUS.GP has inspired many Asian drivers to pursue professional careers in formula racing. AsiaCup removed the financial barrier, helping over 60 drivers transition from karting to formula racing. Many AsiaCup Series drivers, such as Arjun Maini and Jake Parsons, have gone on to win at higher levels. With the upgrade of the AsiaCup Series to the new FIA Formula 4 global format, we are in a good position to provide the most cost-effective junior driver development programme ever in Asia. Our Formula 4 South East Asia Championship, certified by FIA, will allow successful drivers to earn FIA Super Licence points.”
Sean Thompson, F4SEA, Technical Director: “We have helped many drivers to win at all levels, including winning the GP2 Asia Vice Championship with Luca Filippe. MERITUS.GP’s engineers and technicians are among the best support engineering staff any driver could be privileged to work with, and the F4 SEA Championship will be a great first career step.”