Can you tell us about your background and why did you choose TOC?
I am from KL and since I was very young I have had an interest in cars. The course I am on is Motorsports and I chose it because it seems more interesting than normal car maintenance.
Where does you interest in motorsport come from and what got you excited about it?
Since I was young I have been interested in cars, modifying them and tuning them, plus the racing.
Why did you volunteer for the Caterham motorsport experience?
I wanted to get more experience, it looked interesting and I can make the connection with the “real” outside world of motorsport.
How did you find the experience?
It was good, really good! I got to know a few people who I never thought I would know. It was even better than I expected. Joining the pit crew, it was all really good.
You’ve done the Caterham experience so far, what important lessons have you learnt?
Teamwork. This was really important and co-ordination. Also timing, don’t be late!
Timing seems to be the most common thing that people learn. It is very easy to go through life thinking that I’ll get it done tomorrow or whatever. But in motorsport timing is everything. At the last round we had an example with the driver Sidqi’s car. A lot of work had to be done on the car due to an accident and the team managed to get his car onto the grid with only seconds remaining!
What specifically have you enjoyed about the motorsport experience?
I like the start of the race, the end of the race, the prize presentation, joining the pit crew and having fun.
What work did you do on the Caterham cars?
Check the car, clean the car, check the tyres, all the nuts and bolts, check everything before the car leaves the pits to go onto the track. As we were told, check, check, and check again and then clean!
We had a lot of new guys for the first round and the first day was a bit stressful because we had to lean on the people who had done it before to help get the new guys into shape, and they did a great job.
They did, we can see them trying. I was on Ivan’s car and he won! For the next race he asked if I am coming back and I would love to if they offer it to me again.
Ivan was great because it was his first race. He did a lot of training before and it paid off!
With your studies at TOC, plus now you’ve now done two races with Caterham, how do you think that the experience you have gained will benefit you in the future and what are your career aspirations?
I am looking to join a motorsport team after I graduate. Of course I would love to be a race driver! However I would also love to be an engineer for a race team. I am doing the TARA course in November to learn more about both sides of driving and engineering, which will be interesting.
There is a lot to learn. Sometimes a racing driver to come in and when you ask him how the car is handling and he says it’s rubbish! Then you have to ask him to describe it a little more. So it is important to get the engineer to understand what the driver is going through, but it is equally important for the driver to understand what the engineers want as well! It is all about communication.
What is the next step on your career path?
I want to join a race team. Maybe after I have done a few more races with Caterham and trips to Sepang I can start approaching some teams to help them as I will have some experience to offer.
Thank you Samuel and good luck.