For those who knows me, will know that Motorsports is one of my passions. Fiery motorsports blood flows in my family. In the early 1970s, my dad was attached to Nissan. In his capacity, he was instrumental in developing the potency of a famed car racer at that time, Harvey Yap.
My brother, Eric Yeo is an occurrent champion in several saloon cars racing classes since the early 1990s.(Pictured above - Second from left) He has emerged champion in races for Proton cars, Malaysian Super Saloon Championship - racing a Honda Integra, Merdeka Millenium Races - racing a Nissan Skyline, Porsche Carrera Cup races in China and was also the champ at the Asian Festival of Speed in 2008 - racing in various Asian cities completing a full racing season. He also represented Malaysia at the prestigious Macau Grand Prix in 2008. Personally, I was also involved in varied rallying competitions in the mid 1990s and won second place, as co-driver for Team Mitsubishi Ralliart Malaysia, competing in the Singapore Rally in 1998.
In Formula One, I have always be a fervent supporter of the McLaren Mercedes team of Mika Hakkinen and David Coultard. During those years, it was real Formula One supremacy. The domination was so competitive between McLaren Mercedes and Ferrari's Michael Shumacher and Ruebens Barrichelo.
When I got word that Malaysia will be featuring our own F1 team to compete in the 2010 Formula One Championships, I was dumbfounded. Our own F1 team? 'Made in Malaysia'? The team will incorporate Proton who will be Lotus boosted, Air Asia and the Naza Group. This team will be based at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) which makes it the first to be located outside Europe. I am still dumbfounded. Proton? "Get out of town"!! With difficulties like overheating, which consequence in damaged gearboxes for their Perdana V6 and prevailing distorted power windows in their Waja models, I guess basic fundamentals for real customer's satisfaction has taken a step back. Until that be addressed correctly, I could only imagine our 'Made in Malaysia' F1 car be classified as 'DNF' (Did Not Finish - in racing terminology) in most if not all the races telecast 'live' on Star Sports. Can we really compete alongside the giants of Ferrari, McLaren Mercedes or even Renault? As the saying goes, "Tepuk dada tanya selera".
It was also cited, that the intent of boasting our very own team in the coming F1 Championship is to raise our country's profile on the world stage.
Didn't this man on the far left of this picture try to do that?
Pitiful and wretched Alex Yoong, he had no sustenance at all for his drives with Minardi in 2001/2002. He had to personally raise funds for his racing passage into Formula One. (And, I thought racing drivers were paid to race?) But, we got 'partially' famous anyway; for the wrong reasons of either causing accidents in the races or the many of Alex's DNFs.
Our featured team at the F1 Championship for 2010, will be known as '1 Malaysia F1 Team'. A stimulating name. If I decode that correctly, it means that all will have equal opportunities. Now, we have the financial support of 'RAJU' of Air Asia and the technical support of 'AHMAD' of Proton; so it means we could have an 'AH MENG' as the driver. That being the case, why don't we consider this bloke? He is young, fast and has got guts to manoeuvre corners. Allow me to list down three reasons why I think TIMOTHY YEO should be considered as Malaysia's 'potential' F1 driver.
One: He is the current National Cadet Karting Champion in the 2008 Micromax Championships
Two: He is my nephew and he takes after his uncle's good looks (racing drivers are supposed to be good looking).
Three: He has rubbed shoulders with former F1 champion, Mika Hakkinen.
With that alliance, it will truly be a '1 Malaysia F1 Team'. I am so looking forward to cheering for my own 'Made in Malaysia' F1 team next year. Let us truly make this a proud moment for Malaysia and the F1 fraternity. The worse it can get, if nothing goes right will be; 'We really made it an EFFING ONE'.