The Red Bull Female Rookies Drivers Search 2014 unveiled its first batch of 14 potential drivers on the sideline of the Sepang 1,000km Endurance Race today.Forty enthusiasts attended the ‘by invitation only’ selection process with Hypertune, Shift and MYC! This also includes fans from the Red Bull Facebook page.
Among those selected by four independent judges were Ili Syazana Jamal Azmi, a University of Malaya final-year medical student, Putri Mardiana Zainal Abidin, a single mother with a ‘burning passion’ for motorsports, Daphne Choo Lynn-Wey and Penang-born Jessica Ann Selvadurai.
Red Bull Malaysia Executive Director, Jyn Wee, said these 14 female drivers were selected after a six-hour evaluation process by the independent judges. Personality and interest in motorsports were some of the criteria in picking the right candidates.
“We had initially decided to select only 10 drivers but the judges felt that we increase the number to 14 as some of these candidates had shown the right aptitude, personality and good knowledge of motorsports. They had shown a tremendous interest in the programme,” said Wee, adding that several of them had travelled from as far as Penang and Perak to join the Red Bull Female Rookies Drivers Search for 2014.
“However, all is not lost for those who did not make the grade today. They can still join the Red Bull Female Rookies Drivers Search roadshows throughout the country as we will be inviting 20 more drivers, bringing the total to 34. We hope to complete the process in June,” said Wee.
“This programme is about searching potential drivers for the 2014 Sepang 1,000km Endurance Race. They will undergo training and the programme’s curriculum includes Defensive and Tactical Driving Courses. They will be trained and evaluated by Asia Advanced Driving Academy chief trainer, Kenvin Low,” said Wee.
However, from the 34 candidates, five will be shortlisted for the final phase of training but only two will be selected for next year’s all-female Red Bull Rookies team to compete in the Sepang 1,000km Endurance Race.
Apart from Ili Syazana, Putri Mardiana, Daphne Choo and Jessica, the others selected today are Alydia Ab Wahab, Audrey Tan Poh Yuen, Emilia Nabila Abdul Majeed, Valerie Effendi Atkinson, Kan Kit Po, Imee Nadia Abdul Hadi, Lee Sue Ai, Hazwani Husaain, Nursharina Nor Ramlle and Kang Yue Shern.
“I have been following F1 for a long time and you cannot imagine my passion for motorsports. I had always wanted to race at the Sepang F1 Circuit,” said Ili Syazana. “With this opportunity knocking on my door, I hope to go all the way to be the next Red Bull Female Rookie Driver,” added the 23-year-old, who graduates in April next year.