A testimony of the driver development programme under PETRONAS and David Wong of DWA Motorsports, Melvin Moh was a graduate of the PETRONAS Formula Xperience (PFX) racing school just like Dominic Ang and Ryan Ritchie.
Moh was in the pioneering batch of PFX in 2006, where he emerged tops in that programme and received a PETRONAS Scholarship to race in Formula BMW Asia in 2007. Benefiting from a strong karting background and a solid single-seater foundation with PFX, Moh won the first race of the Formula BMW Pacific 2008 Series and became the first PFX driver to take a race victory in Formula BMW.
After completing two seasons of Formula BMW, Moh joined PETRONAS Syntium Team and spent 2009 in New Zealand in preparation for his debut in the 2010 Super Taikyu Series. He finished overall second with the BMW Z4M that year.
2011 saw Moh returning to karts briefly, before he went back to single-seaters and represented Malaysia in the intensive five-round Toyota Racing Series in January and February 2012. Moh also makes a comeback with PETRONAS Syntium Team for the 2012 Super Taikyu Series, although with a different car this time – the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3.
Find out more about Melvin as we bring you upclose and personal with him…
MELVIN THE RACER
Q: How did your interest in racing start?
A: I started to take an interest in motor racing when my dad took me to watch the first Formula 1 race held at Sepang International Circuit back in 1999.
Q: When was your first race and how did you do?
A: My first go-kart race was in 2002 at the age of 14 and it was Round 1 of the Rotax Max Challenge Malaysia. I can remember it clearly because this was also the race I achieved my first podium.
Q: You first drove for PETRONAS Syntium Team in 2010. How does it feel to return to the team?
A: For sure I feel very happy and privileged to be back again. I want to thank David Wong and Petronas for giving me this opportunity.
Q: Although it is not the first time with the team or the tracks, the car is new to you and it is your first time driving the SLS. How different is it driving the Z4M and the SLS?
A: The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 is more powerful than the Z4M. As this is my first time driving driving the car, there is a lot to learn and finding the limits.
Q: What’s for 2012 other than Super Taikyu?
A: I’m planning to do some karting races in Malaysia this year to keep myself in the zone.
Q: Who is your idol?
A: Mika Hakkinen – simply because he’s cool and calm on the track.
Q: How do you think racing helps your on-road daily driving skills?
A: As a driver, you are always driving on the limit in racing. You always have to anticipate what is going ahead of you and I think this definitely helps in on-road daily driving.
Q: Why are advanced or defensive driving courses important even for non-racers?
A: These courses enable non-racers to experience the kind of situations that might happen during driving, and it teaches you how to react in the case of an accident.
Q: What are the three qualities that a racer must have?
A: In my opinion, it should be speed, consistency and composure.
Q: What do you drive back home?
A: Mercedes-Benz B180.
Q: What are your dream cars if money is no objection?
A: Mercedes-Benz SLS, Porsche 911 GT2 RS.
Q: What would be your ideal automotive experience?
A: That would be driving along the highway with no speed limits!
MELVIN OFF THE TRACK
Q: What do you do when you are not racing?
A: I’m currently pursuing my degree in Economics in Monash University.
Q: How and what do you do to improve your racing?
A: In racing, you can only improve only with more driving time; so I try to do as much karting as possible during my free time to improve my skills.
Q: Do you play any sports?
A: I do lots of indoor rock climbing and running. Normally, I compete in 10km races when I have the time.
Q: What sports do you watch?
A: Normally only motorsports. But I watch NBA from time to time and I really admire Kobe Bryant who is playing for the LA Lakers.
Q: What do you do in your free time?
A: I like to do sports during my free time to improve my fitness as fitness plays an important role in motor racing.
MELVIN THE LOVER
Q: Is it essential, or at least useful, to have a partner who shares or understand your passion?
A: Well, I think it is good to have someone close to you who is able to listen and understand what you are going through. In this way, I’m thankful I have my family who has always supported me since Day 1.
Q: What does your partner think about your passion? Is she into motorsports as well? How does she deal with it?
A: She is very supportive of my racing even though she’s not really into it. I’m glad she’s a good listener and understands my passion.
Q: Do you think sharing the same passion strengthens the love?
A: Good question. For sure sharing the same interest or passion makes things a lot easier. In my case, I think respecting each other’s passion is more important and in my opinion, that strengthens the relationship.
MELVIN OF TOMORROW
Q: What would you like to be doing in five years’ time?
A: I hope to be still racing competitively at the top level of motorsport. Besides racing, hopefully I will have some kind of business of my own by then.
Q: What are your long term plans?
A: My long term goal is to still be involved in motorsport in one way or another, be it running a team or managing a young driver coming up the ranks of motorsport.
Name: Melvin Moh Chun-Ho
DOB: 15 July 1988
Residence: Subang, Malaysia