Young Jordan-based Iraqi driver Ali Akabi will take part in the 10-round Formula 4 South East Asia (SEA) Championship this year.
Ten meetings will be held during the course of the season in Malaysia, Thailand, India and the Philippines, starting with the first quartet of races in Malaysia on April 5-7. There are four races each weekend, in addition to free practice and qualifying, giving the young drivers the opportunity to gain experience from 40 races.
The 15-year-old is taking his first steps on to a ladder that he hopes will take him to the likes of Formula One and the World Endurance Championship (WEC) in the future.
Austrian former Formula One star Gerhard Berger and the FIA Singleseater Commission launched Formula 4 in March 2013 and the Formula 4 South East Asia Championship was the third global series to start and came into being for the 2016-2017 season.
Drivers compete in one-make machinery to offer a level playing field and to take away the potential advantages gained from individual team engine development and aerodynamic improvements.
The Formula 4 SEA series uses the Italian Mygale monocoque, carbon fibre frame and engines supplied by French company Renault.
Race engineering services and the series in general are managed by the Malaysian Meritus GP Team, which won the first three regional titles, courtesy of drivers Presley Martono (2016-2017), Daniel Cao (2017-2018) and Alessandro Giretti (2018).
Ali Akabi cut his motor sporting teeth in the karting discipline that saw the early rise of the likes of Formula One legend Lewis Hamilton. Akabi is a two-time Jordan champion, he won the Egyptian series and was runner-up in the United Arab Emirates. He showed further potential by winning two qualifying rounds for the Karting World Championship.
The youngster’s target is to make a promising start and put himself in a position to challenge for the title in 2019. He is already undergoing fitness training and mental preparations for the start of the season and carried out practice sessions in the United Kingdom in August and November last year, in Italy in December and Malaysia in December and February.
Support for the Jordanian’s programme comes from the Al-Hokair Group, ALMCO, Amwaj and the Manja International Circuit.
The opening round of the 2019 Formula 4 South East Asia Championship takes place on April 5-7 at the Sepang International Circuit, near Kuala Lumpur airport, in Malaysia.
2019 Formula 4 SEA Championship calendar:
April 5-7 Sepang, Malaysia
April 19-21 Sepang, Malaysia
May 10-12 Buriram, Thailand
June 14-16 Buriram, Thailand
July 12-13 Madras, India
July 19-21 Madras, India
August 23-25 Sepang, Malaysia
September 27-29 Sepang, Malaysia
November 15-17 Clark, Philippines November 22-24 Clark, Philippines e