The Red Bull Rookies Driver Search started out as an all-female sponsored racing initiative back in 2007 in Malaysia, where the first team formed in 2008 raced in the Merdeka Millennium Endurance 12-hour Race.
Today, the Search has spread to Brunei and Singapore, and for the first time this year, there will be an all-male team in addition to the all-female team.
It first came to Singapore last year and eventually, two Singaporean females made it to the final six.
There were two cars entered for the Sepang 1000KM Race (S1K) and each had a Singaporean – Emmiline Ang on one, Amirah Mokhtar driving for the other.
“We are excited by the response we have received for the Singapore’s Choice Red Bull Rookies Search 2012. There is a pool of driving talents in Asia and Red Bull Rookies is one platform that recruits and nurture aspiring amateur drivers to compete on a professional level,” said Mr Jyn Wee, regional marketing director of Allswell Trading.
This year, the age limit for the search for Singapore’s Choice Red Bull Rookies Team 2012 has been reduced to aged between 18 to 25 years old.
Requirements were simple – A manual driving licence is required, along with a passion for racing.
Upon signing up online or at the road shows, participants had to go through simple tests for their race craft, fitness, mental acuity, personality, cultural flexibility, media relations and presentation skills.
Then on Tuesday, a go-kart selection was conducted at Kartright Speedway to narrow the search down to the top 10 finalists of each gender.
The next elimination round will be held in Gallery Mufors and Speedway PLUS in Kuala Lumpur this weekend, where 66 candidates in total from Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei will attend a defensive driving course and practical driving test.
Only 30 – regardless of nationality- will move on to the second elimination round at Shah Alam Stadium Carpark and Gallery Mufors on 23 and 24 June.
Participants will be put through a team building challenge and trained by Asia Advanced Driving Academy before the last 12 candidates are selected.
From this 12, two females will join Singaporean Ms Melissa Huang and two males will team up with Mark Darwin of Malaysia. Mr Huang and Mr Darwin are the anchor drivers for the ladies’ and men’s teams respectively. Huang was the runner-up at last year’s Search, while Darwin was in the same team as Mokhtar.
Both Red Bull Rookies teams will be competing in the S1K from 6 to 8 December and the team with the better result wins a cash prize of RM 10,000.
The Top 10 girls:
The Top 10 guys: