Luke Browning secured his second win of the FIA Formula 3 season at the Austrian Grand Prix, underscoring not only his talent but also the critical role played by his Malaysian number one mechanic, Muhammad Iqbal.

By the Asian Motorsport Team

From Lahad Datu to the top tiers of motorsport

Iqbal, from Lahad Datu, Sabah, has been a driving force behind Browning’s success. His passion for motorsport led him to the UK in 2023, where he joined Hitech Pulse-Eight. However, his journey began much earlier in Malaysia, where his involvement in motorsport extended beyond being a mechanic to becoming a racer himself.

In 2017, Iqbal participated in the Super GG Track Day at the Sepang International Circuit, gaining recognition for his performance. He raced a first-generation 4-speed Perodua Kancil, which he had initially bought for commuting.

His love for motorsport motivated him to transform this everyday car into a race-ready machine. Iqbal overhauled the Kancil’s 660-carburettor engine, removing the front and back passenger seats and the carpets to install a roll cage in order to meet the safety requirements for the competition.

Career progression and achievements

Before moving to the UK, Iqbal worked with Meritus GP in the South East Asian Formula 4 Championship, where he developed his expertise over three years.

Reflecting on his early career, Iqbal said, “I started as a regular mechanic where I would work with normal vehicles at first. Then, Alhamdulillah, I received a job offer from Meritus.GP who has a Formula 4 team in Malaysia.

“I was with them for more than three years, working on their Formula 4 machinery. It was after my time with Meritus.GP when I got the offer to work for Formula 3.”

Iqbal’s success with Meritus GP led to his role with Evans GP in the Asian F3 Championship, where he contributed to numerous race victories. His significant impact in Asian motorsport established him as a highly skilled mechanic and a valuable asset to any team.

Iqbal moved to the UK in 2023 to join Hitech Pulse-Eight, marking a significant milestone in his career. His expertise quickly became indispensable to the team, particularly in supporting drivers like Luke Browning. His attention to detail and standout performances have made a significant impact across the teams that he has worked for.

Looking ahead, Iqbal aims to continue his growth in motorsport. His ambition and drive suggest that his journey is far from over. As he supports Luke Browning and the Hitech Pulse-Eight team in their pursuit of further victories, Iqbal remains focused on refining his skills and contributing to the team’s success.

As he continues to make his mark, lqbal stands as a proud representative of Malaysia in the global motorsport arena.

2024 Formula 3 Spielberg feature race results

PositionDriverTeamPointsNotes
1Luke BrowningHitech Pulse-Eight25Led every lap, second win of 2024
2Gabriele MinìPREMA Racing18Battled teammate for position
3Dino BeganovicPREMA Racing15Consistent performance
4Christian MansellCampos Racing12Late-race charge
5Oliver GoetheTrident10Strong mid-race performance
6Nikola TsolovART Grand Prix8Gained positions late in the race
7Arvid LindbladPREMA Racing6Early podium fight
8Laurens van HoepenVan Amersfoort Racing4Impressive climb from 24th
9Leonardo FornaroliTrident2Steady race
10Alex DunneMP Motorsport1Held on despite penalty

Header image credit: FIA Formula 3 

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