Daim set for racing restart after exams and BMT

Daim will be in the hot seat for the first time in two years at this weekend's Prince Lubricants Caterham Motorsport Championship series in Sepang.
Daim will be in the hot seat for the first time in two years at this weekend's Prince Lubricants Caterham Motorsport Championship series in Sepang.

He was once touted as Singapore's brightest motor-racing talent, but his progress was halted for two years owing to A-level examinations and national service.

But Daim Hishammudin is ready to hit the race tracks again after completing his basic military training (BMT), starting at this weekend's Prince Lubricants Caterham Motorsport Championship series in Sepang. It will be the multiple karting champion's first proper racing session in two years.

The series, which started in 2015, sees 14 drivers compete in five different races around South-east Asia. They will race in the Caterham Seven, of which the faster, 210bhp 420R model can reach speeds of up to 230kmh.

Said the now 1.71m-tall Daim: "I'm happy and grateful for (sponsor) AirAsia, for helping me achieve this drive.

"It's going to be very tough. Not doing testing is going to be a big factor. I'm going to turn up on Saturday, do one or two practices and go straight to qualifying.

"I haven't done any racing (in the past two years). I've done some testing in karts, a bit of sim-racing, maybe three to four times over the past few months."

Jumping from a kart to a sports car would be a test for any racer's physicality. However, the full-time national serviceman has been keeping his fitness in check: "It helps being in the police force and to have a gym.

"After work - if I don't end late - I would hit the gym. Every session's about an hour and I'll go about three times a week."

Daim, who turns 19 at the end of this month, won his first title - the 2008 Yamaha SL Cup - at the age of just 10. He enjoyed further success, clinching the Rotax Max Asia Championship title twice (2012, 2013).

Said Campbell Tupling, chief executive officer of Caterham Motorsport Malaysia, in a phone call from Kuala Lumpur: "We're excited about having him. You do need some time to get back into things, but it's not going to take him a year.

"These guys (racers) are pure talent. He should be able to adapt quickly and be successful."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 19, 2017, with the headline 'Daim set for racing restart after exams and BMT'. Print Edition | Subscribe