Aaron Lim will make his race debut for A1 Team Malaysia when the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport returns to Brands Hatch for its British round next month.
With Alex Yoong and Fairuz Fauzy ahead of him in the pecking order when it comes to Malaysian talent, Lim has been restricted to driving in the 'rookie' practice session at each event for nearly two seasons, but has finally been given the opportunity to race for his nation with Fauzy otherwise engaged over 1-3 May.
“I've waited a long time for this and, now it has been confirmed, I'm both excited and nervous,” Lim admitted, “I love driving the A1GP car and working with such a professional racing team, so to be given the chance to race for my country in this series is a dream come true."
Despite conceding that he could have had a better venue at which to make his first race appearances, the youngster insisted that he was aiming to make the most of the chance.
“I'm probably making my debut at one of the more difficult tracks on the A1GP calendar, as Brands Hatch is renowned as one of the most challenging circuits, but it is also very much part of the history and heritage of motorsport, so it's quite a special place to be racing,” he reasoned.
“I'm going to head over to the UK this week so that I can acclimatise to the time change and cooler weather, and will also be preparing for the race weekend by spending some time on the A1GP simulator, which will be a chance to 'drive' the Brands track before the actual race weekend. I drove the circuit in the rookie session last season so I do have experience of it, but I haven't actually raced there – and I haven't done a pit-stop in a race before, so that will be new to me as well.”
With Fauzy committed to his alternative ride in the World Series by Renault at Spa-Francorchamps over the Brands Hatch weekend, Team Malaysia chief executive Jack Cunningham said that no-one should expect too much of his young replacement.
“I am delighted to have Aaron driving at Brands - it is simply one of the best things that has happened to this team since we started on this journey in November 2004," he insisted, "However, no-one should underestimate the standards that now operate in A1GP - as evidenced by the grid at Portugal a few weeks ago.
"Aaron will up against some former F1 drivers and others with very much more experience than himself. It is going to be hard on Aaron to come out and compete at this level for a whole weekend, but he has earned his chance through the tremendous loyal support he has given the team throughout the past seasons. Aaron already has experience of the new A1GP car and has been working towards the day when he would have this opportunity.
"Each race weekend, he is part of all the engineering activities – walking the track, attending driver briefings and session debriefs, learning as much as he can - but it will take him some time for him to find his feet. However, he has a fine team around him to help him along, and I know I speak for all the team when I say how enthusiastic I am about this and how much we are all looking forward to it.
“A1 Team Malaysia has given Alex Yoong his career's finest results, and I think the same is true for Fairuz. Now we have the opportunity to graduate another young man in the team into the upper echelons of motorsport."