After a thorough evaluation based on overall performance, Sepang International Circuit (SIC) has named rising star Adam Khalid as their choice to represent the circuit in the seat with Team Engstler in the 2019 TCR Asia Series.
Adam will follow-on from last year’s candidate - Mitchell Cheah - who will now move on to compete in TCR Germany. The 21-year old Khalid, who competed in the Malaysia Championship Series (MCS) and the Sepang 1000km Endurance Race with impressive results last year, was selected ahead of three of Malaysia’s other young talents - Mark Darwin, Brendan Paul Anthony and Ahmad Akid Azlee.
“We placed all four drivers into TCR Malaysia, which ran for six rounds across three events, with a mission to select one driver to go to TCR Asia under the SIC Talent Development Programme. It is with great pleasure for us to announce that the selected driver is Adam Khalid,” SIC Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Razlan Razali confirmed.
“All four are very talented and it was indeed a difficult and painful decision that we had to make. The selection was not just based on results in TCR Malaysia; but an overall assessment based on fitness, performance and behavioural qualities.
“SIC is pleased with the cooperation between Engstler Motorsport and Adam Khalid and we are looking forward to success in TCR Asia and the development of future talents under the SIC Talent Development Programme. Naturally, this is not the end for Mark, Brendan and Akid. Given their talents and skills, there will be other opportunities for them and we truly hope that they will continue to work on their careers - we wish them all the best.”
A top karter, Khalid entered MCS mid-season last year with the Hirev Dream Chaser Team and was quick to earn the admiration and respect of team principal C.Y. Ong.
Despite being new to touring car racing at that juncture, he was a very fast learner and he quickly mastered the skills to be as competitive as the top runners. Scoring a double P2 in Round 4 of the MCS and second overall in S1K earned him the opportunity to be selected for the shootout for the SIC Talent Development Program; with the winner getting a sponsored seat with Team Engstler in TCR Asia.
With his superb work ethic and dedication, supplemented by the brilliant coaching by CY and Mitchell Cheah, Khalid won the shootout.
“Being recently selected by SIC as their Talent Development Driver for 2019 is a huge stepping stone in my career and I thank them for believing in me and giving me this once in a lifetime opportunity,” Khalid said. “I will give it my all or nothing. It was an eye-opening experience being able to work with such an established team as Team Engstler and to be backed by SIC was just the icing on the cake.
“Over the short period of time on the TCR Malaysia Championship weekend the team really did support me in every aspect, from feeling welcomed to fully learning the car and we ended up on the podium on my debut which was amazing. Ultimately, I’ve still got so much more to learn in a TCR Car but I believe there is no better combination than to do so but with Engstler Motorsport and SIC!”