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Motor racing: Daim speeds to top in both races on return

Two years without racing would make any motor sports driver rusty.

Not for Singapore's Daim Hishammudin. The 18-year-old - who took a two-year break to study and complete his basic military training (BMT) - was right on pace on his return to racing.

He wasted no time in winning his first two races in the 420R class of the Prince Lubricants Caterham Motorsport Championship series in Sepang yesterday, beating other more experienced drivers to the chequered flag in both the two 10-lap races.

Said Daim: "It means so much, (it's a) great way to get back into racing.

"It's been such a great weekend. We came into the weekend not knowing what to expect.

"We exceeded our own expectations. We wanted to finish on the podium, but we won both races."

Having qualified in pole position for the first race, Daim launched off the line well. The three battling cars behind him ensured that he crossed the finish line comfortably.

SHEER PLEASURE

We exceeded our own expectations. We wanted to finish on the podium, but we won both races. ''

DAIM HISHAMMUDIN, on winning for his team at the Prince Lubricants Caterham Motorsport Championship series in Sepang.

Said the series newcomer, who finished 20 seconds ahead of the runner-up: "I was surprised at the gap I opened up in the first race."

However, the second race at the hot and bone-dry Sepang circuit was not as easy as the first, as he was involved in a tough tussle before emerging as the winner again.

Said the multiple karting champion: "The second race was tighter. I messed up my start and dropped to fourth.

(It was a) really close race. I'd be first at the first corner of the lap and fifth by the end of the lap."

Daim, who had to rush back to Singapore for his national service duties today, told The Straits Times: "Going into the future and other races, (the wins) will make me more confident in myself and my driving abilities."

The next race of the series will take place in Sepang again, from Aug 18-20. However, Daim has yet to confirm his seat, saying: "Right now, it's tentative. We'll have to see if (sponsor) AirAsia will give us funding.

"But now that we know our pace, hopefully we can win the next race too."