KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was conferred a Lifetime Achievement Award for his significant contributions and undying support towards national motorsports industry at the Petronas Sepang International Circuit Sdn Bhd (SIC)-Motorsports Association of Malaysia (MAM) Awards 2018 tonight.
From conceiving the idea of having a national car, Dr Mahathir thus paved the way for the development of local talents and technology in the automotive industry to the brainchild behind the build up of SIC and inspiring Malaysians to make a mark in motorsports both locally and internationally.
Dr Mahathir is the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award conferred by the SIC-MAM Awards in its third edition.
SIC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Datuk Razlan Razali said it was a great privilege to honour Dr Mahathir at Malaysia’s premier motorsports awards.
“Tun Dr Mahathir is by and large the person responsible for the spark that started the evolution of modern day motorsports in Malaysia. Ever since the creation of the SIC in 1999 and introduction of Formula One in Malaysia, Malaysia’s motorsport talents have achieved tremendous success locally and abroad.
“Within less than 20 years we have young Malaysians racing at the highest level in world motor racing such as Alex Yoong in Formula one, Hafizh Syahrin in MotoGP and our first Malaysian team of Jazeman Jaafar, Nabil Jefri and Weiron Tan in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans,” he said when met at the ceremony here, tonight.
Also present at the ceremony were Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi and Petronas CEO Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin.
Wan Zukiflee who is also the President of Petronas has also congratulated Dr Mahathir on the conferment of the award.
“On behalf of Petronas, we would like to congratulate Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the conferment of the Lifetime Achievement Award for his continuous support and contribution towards the development of the Malaysian motorsports industry,” he said.
Meanwhile, first Malaysian MotoGP rider Hafiz Syahrin Abdullah received the top recognition for his stellar performance in the field of motorsports by winning the Petronas International Rider of the Year Award.
The Selangor-born rider who brought pride and joy as the first Malaysian in the premier class MotoGP World Championship last season with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 also took home the Malaysia Motorsports People’s Choice Award.
In the meantime, Jazeman was crowned as the International Driver of the Year following his success in the World Endurance Championship with fellow Malaysians, Nabil and Tan.
Malaysia’s professional racing driver, Mark Darwin emerged as the SIC National Driver of the Year while 2017 Malaysian Superbike Championship (MBSK) Open 250 Cup winner, Mohd Aiman Tahiruddin won the National Rider of the Year award.
The panel of judges also selected Dream Chaser as the Best National Team for the four wheels category while SCK Rapido Hi-Rev Honda Racing won the Best National Team in the two wheels category.
The awards night also recognised and honoured those involved in Malaysian motorsports such as Allen Oh, Ng Wei Leong, Jazeman, Nabil, Tan and Kuan Huah Chin who will be inducted to the Malaysian Motorsports Hall of Fame.
The ceremony also saw three media practitioners garnering awards, Sukhairi Thani (Berita Harian) for the Best Journalist and Riduan Rizal Ahmad (Utusan Malaysia) for the Best Photographer while Hasnida Hanim Ahmad Kamil-Ahi Seregar (TV3) won the Best Electronic category.