Malaysia is one of the global hotspots for motorsports, evidenced as much by our investments in the Sepang track as well as being one of the placements for F1. As much as in any other areas where competition is involved, motorsports is one area in which the boundaries of technology are consistently challenged. However, along with the technology, it is talent that truly drives this business. This is an area which still requires more focus on the part of both government and organizations in Malaysia.
There is yet hope on the horizon, thanks to organizations such as Dream Chaser, conceptualized to act as a platform to support and nurture budding talent and enable them to compete with top Malaysian and international drivers in the sport.
“Motorsports are popular in Malaysia, but to be honest, it is a sport that comes at a premium in terms of both equipment and professional manpower. The cost of driving in this sport can be daunting and for many new talent, is simply beyond reach,” said Dream Chaser founder Ong Chee Yong, fondly referred to as CY.
Speaking from the office of key sponsors Privasia Technology Berhad, CY hopes to see the creation of a bigger pool of young racers in this region. “It’s not just about the race, but about the human spirit. We want to see young drivers with the passion and dedication to chase their dreams, yet are at the same time able to maintain discipline,” he said.
Despite shying the limelight, himself, Prasad Gnanaseygren, Executive Director of subsidiary Privagen Sdn. Bhd. certainly agrees.
“By working with CY and the DC (Dream Chasers) we hope to help talented young drivers reach out from dreams to reality. It’s like business, you work hard for what you want, but sometimes, there’s help along the way as long as you maintain that fighting spirit,” said Gnanaseygren.
The future of motorsports in Malaysia
At present, Dream Chaser has two vehicles, both highly modified version of Satria Neos, built by Malaysia very own Proton. That, along with a professional team and equipment currently forms the core of Dream Chaser, managed by CY. A fan of the sport himself, CY is at his liveliest when on the track and will not think twice about jumping into the car himself should the opportunity arise.
“Dream Chaser is more than just a racing team; I see it as a conduit for both the nurturing of talent as well as for the sport as a whole. By doing what we do, we’re helping those who might have remarkable talent to gain a foothold in the sport,” he said.
Soon, Dream Chaser will be introducing its extension program, Dream Chaser X, with an aim to groom more talents with a broader team. The program will be anchored by two key pillars: Subsidy and mentorship.
By subsidizing new talent, Dream Chaser aims to lower the entry barrier into the sports by helping out with part of the costs of racing. This could be anything equipment-related, even up to the extent of helping new drivers negotiate with manufacturers for parts such as tyres.
Through the mentorship system, Dream Chaser will setup 1:1 and 1:Few systems by pairing seasoned drivers and/teams with new drivers. The mentor will be tasked with coaching the new drivers on fundamental skills in racing and provide guidance on the technicalities of car modification, setup, race discipline and race management.
To be considered for the program, dream Chaser looks out for private individuals that are self-funded in racing and requires financial aid in realizing their true potential. “Most important of all, we look out for those who are passionate, disciplined and have a ‘can do’ attitude,” said CY.
The program is for between one to three years and the best drivers will get the chance to race with the Dream Chaser team in the following year. They are also free to join other teams as Dream Chaser has set no prohibition on them doing so, despite offering this program in good faith.
More support needed
“For the independent racer with no access to their own vehicle, the cost of hiring a car for one single race can reach up to RM30,000,” said CY. From that statement alone, there is no doubt that many who look towards the sport, see the cost as insurmountable.
On the corporate side, few have been willing to match the dedication that Privasia has stepped up to show. To this end, it is CY’s hope that more will step forward and assist in any way they can.
“Because racing comes from a passion to learn, to grow stronger and to aim for goals that others might not even dare to try for,” he concluded.
*Interested parties can contact CY at [email protected]