Singapore prodigy opts for Kartmaster Drakar

For immediate release

Former Asian Formula Renault winner Suriya to race in SKC 

Suriya Bala Kerisnan

SINGAPORE, 20 APRIL 2012: Kartmaster Drakar Racing Team, a Singapore motorsports team, are pleased to unveil our latest recruit – former Asian Formula Renault race winner Suriya Bala Kerisnan.

The 19-year-old full-time National Serviceman will race in the Senior category for Kartmaster Drakar’s stable of starlets in this year’s Singapore Karting Championship (SKC), which will begin next Saturday, April 28.

This latest move will see Suriya team up once again with his old mentor, Kartmaster Drakar co-principal Roland Chong, the man he attributes to for his early success on the Asian Formula scene.

“Mr Roland Chong has played a big part in my early racing career and I am extremely excited to be under his guidance again,” said Suriya, who came in 5th overall at the 2010 Asian Formula Renault Championships after posting one victory and two 3rd-place finishes.

“Kartmaster Drakar have ambitious plans to be a nursery for Singapore motorsports and I am honoured to be part of their development plans.

“I am hoping to do well for Kartmaster Drakar and, one day, do Singapore proud again on the international stage.”

Suriya’s recruitment will add even more quality to the star-studded cast at Kartmaster Drakar, which includes two SKC championship-winning drivers, Opai Naufal and Jon Lee. Suriya’s younger brother, Santos, is also in the team and racing in the Junior category in this year’s SKC.

“We are delighted to have Suriya on board,” said Kartmaster Drakar co-principal Raymond Low. “We are certain Suriya will add value to our team and contribute to our success.

“For a top local driver to make the decision to join our ranks and place his fledgling career in our hands is testament that we at Kartmaster Drakar are doing something right.”

Kartmaster Drakar were formed early this month, following a merger between two renowned racing teams Kartmaster and Drakar. The team will race under the banner of Kartmaster Drakar Racing Team in this year’s SKC and Asian Karting of Champions (AKOC).

Suriya Bala KerisnanABOUT SURIYA
After two successful seasons in karting, Suriya graduated to racing single-seaters Formula cars in 2009. He made his Formula debut with Asian Racing Team (ART)’s Formula Renault in Shanghai. That year, he became the first Singaporean driver to race in single-seaters at the Singapore Grand Prix, and came in top-10 at the Macau Grand Prix. In 2010, he raced for ART again in the 2010 Formula BMW Pacific and finished the season in 15th place.

Q&A with Suriya
What made you decide to join Kartmaster Drakar?
Suriya: It’s a homecoming of sorts. I’ve always had a very good relationship with the guys at Drakar and, having raced for Kartmaster in my early teens when I was karting, I believe Kartmaster Drakar is the best choice. With the support and experience from Mr Raymond Low and Mr Roland Chong, I feel very much at home at Kartmaster Drakar.

How does it feel like to be back racing again after one year out with NS?
To be honest, I really missed racing so much! I’ve always been asking Mr Roland to get me back racing again, be it in karting or formula cars. After months of practicing at Kartright, I am getting quicker every session. Hence, we decide this might be the best time for me to return to karting to build my profile back up again.

From racing Formula cars a couple of years ago and now back at karting. Is this a step down for you?
I wouldn’t really call it as a step down as you see Formula 1 world champions go back to karting to sharpen their reflexes during their off seasons. At this stage of my career, some would say it’s a step down indeed. But I’m going take it as another opportunity to learn and refine my skills after my career had to take a diversion due to NS.

What do you hope to achieve this season?
I’m looking to improve my driving standards and, just like every other driver I’m going to be sharing the track with, be the Champion!

Turning professional must be the next step for you?
That’s my ultimate goal for my racing career. We are looking at various possible options for 2013 and the years to come. All these will only be confirmed after seeing how I fare in this year’s SKC and, of course, through consultation with Kartmaster Drakar and my parents.

Click here to view profile of Suriya Bala Kerisnan

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