He made his name as a speed demon on two wheels but this weekend Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah will face a different kind of race.
The first Southeast Asian rider to compete in the premier motorcycling championship, Hafizh will turn out for Hyundai Team Engstler in this weekend’s WTCR Races of Malaysia at Sepang International Circuit.
He will team up with Mitchell Cheah as they go head-to-head with seven world champions in the WTCR Race.
Cheah and Hafizh are wildcard entries for the WTCR-FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO super-finale and it is expected to be a tremendously exciting albeit challenging week for them.
Driving the uber-successful Hyundai i30 N TCR – with wins in TCR Australia, TCR Asia, TCR Europe, TCR Germany, TCR Malaysia, TCR Middle East, TCR Russia and TCR USA – will require a short adjustment period for the massively talented duo.
“It is an opportunity to once again race at the Sepang Circuit but instead of two wheels, it will be on four,” said an excited Hafizh.
“We will be up against seven FIA world title winners. I cannot put any target because I’m not sure what’s possible or impossible.
“I always think positively and I will try to learn and try to take the experience. I hope the fans will enjoy it.”
For Cheah, 21, he is returning to home soil after an impressive year in TCR Germany as part of the Sepang International Circuit Talent Development Programme.
He claimed three rookies wins in Germany and will look to continue that excellent form in Sepang.
“I have been looking forward to this race since the beginning of this year, it‘s the last event of the year for me and I would like to end it on a high note,” he said.
“It will be tough fighting against many world champions, but I’ll take this as an opportunity for me to test myself against these guys and see where I am.”
Hyundai Team Engstler has bags of experience at Sepang and has brought in Luca Engstler, multiple TCR champion, to assist with driver coaching.
The WTCR-FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO super-finale is made up of three quick-fire races taking place during the day, in the dusk and at night under state-of-the-art floodlights on Sunday.
Free practice and qualifying sessions are on Friday.
Main image: Catch Cheah (left) and Hafizh in action this weekend in Sepang. Picture by Sepang International Circuit.