UPDATE 6/2/2019: This week I added 6 more supers and 3 more corresponding mainlines to my collection. Last Saturday I found 4x Mazda Repu $upers at Walmart, Rockaway, NJ. Yesterday, Saturday added the Audi RS6 Wagon found at Shop Rite, Emerson, NJ and today found VW T2 truck at ACME in Allendale, NJ… wow!
2019 has been a great year for my Hot Wheels & Matchbox collecting hobby. I’ve picked up a ton of cars I really wanted including many (and many multiples of) pricey Premium models from various new series like Open Track, Gulf and Silhouettes that include realistic looking GT3 race cars, which I love. I discovered Matchbox premiums called Superfast which too seem to fit my collection nicely.
But Hot Wheels collecting mean different things to different people. While to me realistic race cars are most valuable, others may consider Muscle Cars to be the business, or some fantasy castings. Most however will claim that Super Treasure Hunts or $upers (even $oup for short) are most valuable of them all because they are the rarest in this mass produced world of Die Casts.
I was never one to have Mattel tell me what I should collect, but after finding a few of them recently I will certainly not put one back on the peg if I come across it at a supermarket.
Cause they do indeed look cool with their spectra flake paint job and real riderz wheels. They are basically the premium models that sell for $1 instead of $6+ that Car Culture line now goes for.
Take a look at my recent finds:
Found at ACME supermarket in Mahwah, NJ
Found at Target in Fairfield, NJ
I like them… and again while they aren’t the core of my collection, I think they are worth keeping along with the base model for comparison.
Now the regular “Treasure Hunt” models seem to basically be junk… and despite having Mattel write nice things on the blue card how they are collectibles, in my experience they have mainly been worthless. Nobody collects them, unless it’s a model that fits someone’s collections goals. And unless it’s an interesting concept, like my very first treasure hunt find: Quick Bite which I actually really like… the rest that I picked up with hopes of trading for something I really want have been duds.
Found at Walmart in Teterboro, NJ and at Walgreens in Wyckoff, NJ
Zamac (Walmart exclusives, though I’ve found one at Walgreens before) seem to be much more desirable than Regular Treasure Hunts, although my local Walmart’s never seem to have them on the pegs.
Found at Kmart in Wayne, NJ and Ton of Toys in Westwood, NJ
Target “Red Edition” and Kmart exclusives also seem to hold more value than Treasure Hunts. The one trade that I managed to get cars I wanted (though they arrived in a rough condition after USPS were done with them) involved a few Nissans from each stores exclusive lines.
There are models like the Kroger exclusive Ford GT LM that I really want for my collection but definitely don’t see myself paying 10x the price plus shipping to acquire… I don’t even think it would be worth trading a $uper for one maybe a Red Edition or Zamac… but who knows. Too bad there’s no Kroger stores where I live.
The more cars and bikes I add to my collection the more I want to get to complete my newly created Hot Wheels Motorsport “Spotter Guide” to illustrate the available options out there in the 1/64 scale diecast world.
In addition to my core collectables I’ve stocked up on cool cars I offer to trade to others for what I like… and the question always comes up: “what are you looking for?”
This list is what I’m looking for:
Check out Hot Wheels Collector News for a complete list of this 2010-2013 bike model: Click here!
While I have a few Ducati 1199’s already there are a few more 2014+ models I’d like: Click here!
The 2013-2014 release of the Lotus Evora GT4 would be nice to acquire: Click here!
While it was made from 2002 onwards I’m especially interested in the 2010 version of the Saleen S7 Race Car with a big wing and air scoop added. Click here!
Though I doubt I’ll ever get my hands on any of these realistic looking 1999 production F1 cars, I would really love to get at least the above Ferrari and BMW versions in their true liveries. Click here!
Speaking of must-have Formula 1 models, the 2010 Tyrrell six-wheeler is at the top of my list. Click here!
This short tail version of the 917 beauty of which I already have a few long tail version is a must for me, and I think I’ll get one fairly reasonably priced as it was a recent release. Click here!
This limited edition, fancilly boxed 911 will be impossible to get cheaply. Click here!
However this mainline from 2010 should be doable: click-here!
This would be awesome to have, Ferrari Challenge F360 from 1999 production run, click here!
The 2009 run of the next Ferrari Challenge F430 is a must too, Click Here!
After participating in Red Bull Rallycross I got a really soft spot for the Ford Fiesta, would love to add a few more of these colorful gems to my collection. Click here!
One of the more illusive race cars I have been having trouble getting cheaply on eBay is the series of Ford Falcon V8 Supercars. I definitely want these in my collection. Click here!
Since there are no Kroger stores in my area getting the Ford GT exclusive was impossible, hoping to find one on eBay cheaply. Clickhere.
There are of course a number of GT3 car variations I would love to add to the many existing cars on my wall. Especially slightly older stufffrom before the time I begun my collection.
Huge thanks to HWCollectorsNews.com folks forcataloging this hobby so well for newbies to have such an amazing resource to go by. My collection keeps growing so this page and my general wish list is constantly updated. Stay tuned!
What’s the most recognizable Racing Livery? What paint job tells you the Team sponsor by seeing the color combo from a mile away? Even without reading any text…. I’d think Red Bull, Coca Cola, Marlboro, Rothmans, Martini, Gulf, Falken, Tic Tac, Yagermeister… maybe a few others would make the list. But since Hot Wheels is a kid brand, most of the cigarette and booze sponsors get excluded from making it into mainline cars. So of the remaining teams we’re left with instantly recognizable paint jobs, and I’m going to start adding them to my collection.
Thanks to all the detailed work HWCOLLECTORSNEWS.COM put into their web site it can be used as a shopping catalog for desirable cars… past and present. I’m happy to say that many of the abovementioned cars are already in my collection. And the rest I’ll be on the lookout for on eBay to be sure I can add them to my wall.
So the following are my favorites:
There are of course others in each of these series, none large than the amazing Gulf Racing variety.
But it’s important to remember that collecting anything requires patience. Especially with something like Hot Wheels where new surprises come out every year. So I’ll be adding my additions as I accumulate them over the years.
If you’re just getting into Hot Wheels collecting like me, you may get overwhelmed with all the variety out there, available at different price points… or frustration of not being able to find any of the cool stuff you see people brag about online. I’d like to share some resourses I’ve come across in my recent re-introduction to this hobby with the hope that this info actually helps someone. And I’m sure I’ll vent my frustration as well… although the simple solution to that problem is just to throw more money at it. If you really want a car someone will sell it to you for a crazy price $$$ on eBay. I have bought quite a few dozen such cars there already to help my collection start growing.
So, observation #1: it’s 2018 and while grocery shopping at my local supermarket I come across a Hot Wheels box dump where I pull out 3 GT3 spec race cars after a short time rummaging thru. Wow! I think to myself, that’s going to be quite a collection if there are tiny versions of all the different race cars out there from American IMSA racing series or Le Mans, Blancpain GT, Pirelli World Challenge, etc. But nope…. you should not worry about being overwhelmed because Hot Wheels produced at most 2 or 3 varieties of cars per year, and certainly not of every single model racing in the real world today. Lately I’ve noticed realistic GT3 spec machinery is increasing in popularity, good news for me, because that’s the type of HW I want to collect, but finding them is often difficult and requires a lot of trips to the store… which suddenly makes buying stuff off eBay more appealing and often a cheaper option than burning gas running around with no success.
Observation #2: Hot Wheels are released in cases of 72 car in Mainline or 10 packs for Car Culture premium models. Each case has some new additions and a ton of oldies from previous cases of the same production year or even previous years. Which is both cool (If you’re looking for something you missed in the past) and weird (If you don’t come across a new item because there was only one or two per case and another collector or kid buying a new toy beat you to the peg). Hunting for new releases is extremely frustrating especially when you compete against people that snatch all the good stuff when they come across it and then go and sell that stuff to people like me on eBay for profit. So key is to be quick and lucky.
Observation #3: and probably the most important one, is to use a web site like HW collectors newsletter to see what stuff is available each year, when it comes out and even who sells it when there are exclusives like Zamac or Red Line, Treasure Hunt and Super Treasure Hunts. Btw…. zamac are those unpainted Zink Alluminum looking cars that now come with a Zamac build # on the blue card. TH or treasure hunt models have a little Hot Wheels flame circle behind the car on the blue card also writing how exclusive that car is.
Since I don’t crack open any of the HotWheels cars that I buy I’m going to illustrate this post with anazing photos from HWCollectorsNews.com
The 2016 Mazda MX5 Miata was the unicorn in my collection even two years before I actually started collecting. Couldn’t find it anywhere I looked. I spent days scouring local supermarkets on a trip to California in 2016 and 2017… no luck. Same in Texas and in Florida. I even hit up a bunch of states from Pennsylvania to the Carolinas while driving to Daytona. No luck… so I ended up shelling over $5 for one on eBay. And it was well worth it.
Since then I’ve spent over $200 on Miatas alone, often clearing out the racks at my local supermarket whenever I come across a fresh display. I’ve got more than 50 of the white Mad Mike Miata from 2018 and at least a dozen of each of the others… and most of them I will probably give away to friends at future Miata events.
The other Mazda that I absolutely adore in my collection is the 2018 Car Culture premium model 787B Le Mans race car…
I’ve burned a ton of fuel going from store to store, week after week, trying to find one. Tempted to buy on eBay but not willing to shell out $10+ shipping for one. And finally came across a new case at a distant Target near NY/NJ border where they must have just gotten out out for Christmas. I bought all 4 on that display. And I’m sure it’s the best car in my collection, though I’m sure there will be more awesome HW stuff in the future.
The goal for my collection besides the Mazda’s is current and realistic / accurate GT3 race cars. And much like the amazing real variety at endurance events at Daytona, Sebribg, Bathurst, Spa-Francorchams, Le Mans or Nürburgring so too is the selection from HW:
The cars above represent what my collection is about. There are currently 45 total options available as I’ve learned from the amazingly detailed description of each model from HWCollectorsNews.com however I probably won’t collect every single model because it turns out only some are sold individually as part of carded models. The rest are multipack exclusives. And yet others are exclusively made for events and aren’t even available for sale. While yet others, like the Forza Motorsport Ford GT are way too ugly and too expensive for the price they are being sold for.
So price and availability are always a factor of what will go into my collection.
This brings me to Observation #4: Hot Wheels are typically only made in their Malaysian or Thai factories. I’ve bought some older First Editions models from 20 years ago that were made in China. I’ve seen stuff from Macau as well. But modern Mainline cars come from Malyasia while premium cars are made in Thailand.
Mainline Hot Wheels are Made in Malaysia & Car Culture premium models are Made in Thailand
So this is a pretty exotic hobby knowing each car came from Southeast Asia. And ironically the cars are typically sold cheaper in the US compared to what they actually go for in their home markets (regular price that is, not sale). That being said prices are all over the board nowadays for both Mainline and Car Culture. Wal-Mart is consistently cheapest with their 94 cent price tag for most main line. $1.27 for special carded mainline and $4.97 for the Car Culture models. While the same Car Culture premium sell for $7.99 at Target…. because they can. Even my local supermarkets sell mainline for different price weekly. Sometimes it’s $0.99, then $1.09, then $1.29, $1.49 and when they’re really greedy $1.99 especially Matchbox mainline seem to command the double price for some reason. I tend to buy stuff when I find what I like regardless what the price is, because chances are that when they go on sale the selection would be very limited. That said I think car culture cars are worth the premium especially the well detailed Race Car models like:
the Porsche 962 models with Real Riderz wheels. Though that Momo livery car that came as part of a Transporter series with a large HW truck costing $12.99 is ridiculously overpriced I think.
There was a cheaper $3.99 version of the Porsche 962 before I started my collection, but for the life of me I cannot find one for a reasonable price. Speaking of cheaper vintage Porsches we are lucky to get the Gulf Racing Porsche 917 LH in mainline, readily available and I made sure to stock up on them.
In 2019 Hot Wheels will have several new sets of their Premium Car Culture line: Gulf livery, Open Track, etc. Many more GT and GT3 offerings among them like another Audi R8 LMS and a brand new pair of Acura NSX GT3’s among them. Even main line will have more new Cadillac and Mercedes-AMG race cars. I’m looking forward to finding them and adding to my collection.
I’ll keep HWCollectorsNews.com as a reference guide to know before I go to the store to understand what I’m looking for. This was already helpful the other night when I found my very first Treasure Hunt of 2019 at ACME in beautiful spectra gold finish and Real Riderz wheels in Mainline cars.
I think it’s time to pump the brakes on this hobby a little. Since I started to obsess over this idea a month ago I think I’m about $200 bux all in already, because I keep sweeping my local supermarkets of the models I want. And it’s a good time for a reality check.
The good news is that historically Hot Wheels do go on sale closer to the holiday season. They are a great stocking stuffer, and a good gift to give. But by that time the selection will dwindle in stores or there will just be random models I have little or no interes in.
Over the past month I have hoarded about 75 Miatas! There’s 5 different kinds. The two 2016 red Miatas I ordered on eBay at $5 each. Since I posted about trying to find a white Mad Mike MIATA I’ve added 40 of them to a shoebox I keep them in. I bought 16 of them today alone. Probably should take a breather on that one. I used to get so angry at assholes that snatched up all the red Miatas so that all i could do is pay five fold for it on ebay. Now I’m the asshole for doing the same thing in the 20 mile radius around my home, from all the supermarkets in sight. Not all were $1 either. I notice stores do a 29% to 49% markup from week to week. Only Wal-Mart is consistently charging 94 cents for both Hot Wheels and Matchbox which brings the total to roughly a dollar with tax. Im glad i also found a few more of the baby blue Eibach spring model, I had the least of that one.
I have been unsuccessful finding a Mazda 787B or Porsche 962 from the Real Riderz Car Culture Circuit Legends line. Visited several Walmarts twice this week alone, no luck just wasted fuel.
But I did pick up a bunch of the Euro Speed cars including another Audi R8 LMS, BMW M1 Procar, Mercedes Benz 190E and an Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA. Ordered them in one shot from Wal-Mart and they arrived in one day to the store. Wish ordering a Mazda 787B was that easy. I have a feeling there may be a recall on them since people that bought the preorder in September complained on Reddit of a deformed rear wing, which on a $6 dollar 1/64 scale premium model is kind if insulting. I’ll be on the lookout. Still. While the rest is on pause.
I did get a ton of cars I really wanted, like the blue Ford GT or the #33 Lamborghini Super Trofeo. I even got the full Fiat 500 line up, including a short card version from a local mom and pop store called Ton of Toys. Got my first 2019 Hot Wheels Mercedes Benz Unimog at Wal-Mart too. And a few Lamborghini Miura specials at Kmart whom now charges $1.09 for 2018 models and $1.29 for 2019 and 50th anniversary cars like the Ford Escort RS 1600.
And that’s what $200 bux in little toys looks like, money I’ll never see again 😉 but I have to say I do enjoy looking at them with admiration, a lot of the cars bring back fond memories from my racing days.
Several years ago I started buying a ton of Hot Wheels diecast race cars to get my little nephews hooked on cars and racing. These days my young nephews have convinced me that I should have started my own Hot Wheels and Matchbox collection much sooner…
Don’t get me wrong I’ve been treating myself to a 1:18 model every now and again when I found a good deal online or in store, but those events have been rare. So far I only have a handful of SVT Cobra’s and SRT Viper’s to speak of. But Hot Wheels are cheap! And while they lack in detail of each tiny model, there’s a huge variety of choice out there. I’ve found myself lately rushing to the toy aisle of my local supermarket every time I go grocery shopping, to go thru the racks to see what’s new. If there’s a box display it takes me a good 20 minutes before I’m satisfied to leave that I’ve dug out everything there is to find in there. When I leave something I had in my hands without buying I feel instant regret.
That’s precisely what happened when I had Gulf Racing Porsche 917 Le Mans long tail from the 70’s and a modern Indy 500 open wheeler in the same livery. They were in my shopping cart for the whole store visit but before I got to the register I chucked them out because I have never seen Gulf livery on an IndyCar before… what a fool!?!
What’s even worse, there have been instances few years ago where I actually bought the cars. Gave them to my nephews who proceeded to bash them against each other, throw them around on the floor, and now keep them piled up in a large bucket because they have so many…. argh!
This happened to a red MIATA which I wish I kept in a box because I have not been successful finding another one for myself no matter how many Walmarts, Kmarts or Target stores I visit. But also other cool race cars like the pair of Castrol livery BMW 3.0 CSL’s below:
I even try to visit stores whenever I travel to see if other places get more variety. I did pick up several Mazda RX7’s on a trip to California last year, or Ford GT, Mercedes-AMG GT3, Cadillac ATS-V.R and Lambo Super Trofeo models on a recent trip to South Jersey while volunteering for MotoAmerica.
Seeing all these models glued to the wall makes me all nostalgic about working IMSA events where I blue flagged the exact Mercedes-AMG GT3’s and Ford GT’s. Or the Pirelli World Challenge where those Cadillac’s dominated everyone else.
Looking on the Hot Wheels web site I see a ton of models I’d like to add to my new wall collection. Including the white rotary Mad Mike MIATA which is the closest representation of the livery he uses on his crazy drift car:
Or the yellow Lamborghini Super Trofeo, which looks awesome:
Or the Lamborghini Countach pace car which looks legit!
Or even little souped up Ford Fiesta from one of my new favorite sports that went belly up this year: Red Bull Global Rallycross:
Or many other new things that Hot Wheels hasn’t announced yet, or already stopped selling (is it me or is everything out of stock on their web site…. and I’m not paying eBay prices for any of these no matter how much I want them).
So if any one that knows me comes across a cool diecast, go ahead spend that $1 dollar on me, I’ll happily reimburse you.
PS. I’m very pleased with my growing ND MX5 collection, whenever I see them on a shelf I snatch them. I even beat another enthusiast that wanted the car while my eldest nephew an I went to our local Wal-Mart during the Hot Wheels 50th anniversary tour… and that never happens to me, for once lady luck was on my side.
The Malaysian MX-5 Owners Meet-Up was a two part affair, after dinner we hit the road back to Kuala Lumpur for some amazing photo ops with Petronas Twin Towers in the background.
We got quite lucky because at the hour we went the highways were pretty clear and there wasn’t much in a way of traffic jams. We were also fortunate enough to have good weather. It must have rained while we were having dinner because the drive to KL with the top down was exceptionally pleasant and comfortable, where normally it is hot and sticky.
The roof top parking lot they picked for our photo shoot had amazing views!
One more chance to check out a touchscreen Stereo. I had posted about wanting to see other people’s set ups and so many were happy to share what they’ve done to their cars. Just awesome!
We stayed in the lot until security kicked us out. Apparently the parking lot is closed overnight. And so we headed out back towards Shah Alam for me to pick up my rental car for the weekend. Ironically while leaving the city we got caught in a major jam due to the new MRT line construction directly over the highway.
I had such an incredible time hanging out with the Malaysian MX-5 owners I really cannot wait to come back for more.
The third and final stop on my Southeast Asia MX-5 Miata Road Trip was in Kuala Lumpur the capital city of Malaysia. Though I’ve visited KL a bunch of times on my previous trips the new dimension on this visit was definitely going to be the Miata owners I was hoping to meet up with. My facebook contact Martin helped organize the meet even though he himself wasn’t able to join due to work and travel plans. But David, my other local contact came thru in a big way. He picked me up from my hotel in Brickfields and gave me a lift to the dinner venue on the outskirts of town.
David did some heavy modding of his 2008 GT PRHT giving an NC1 facelift with NC3 components like the front and rear bumpers, headlights and taillights. A custom exhaust (from the USA he kept saying proudly). Custom interior including some fancy looking leather seats. And many other parts I’m sure were there but I tried hard to take advantage of remaining daylight to take some shots of his car.
We hit the road to make it out of the city in time for dinner. And of course the top went down for the ride.
The Miata sure gets a ton of looks on the streets of Kuala Lumpur, especially one so tastefully done like David’s. Before you know it the darkness set in and as we approached the restaurant I kept on spotting Miata’s parked on the street, so of course I veered off to take as many pictures as I could before they pulled me into the restaurant for dinner.
As usual Malaysian food didn’t disappoint, the spicy fish and all the side dishes were amazing! And of course I was in great company, it was so good to see so many people show up to share in our common hobby and have a very friendly chat about the cars, the travel and the food we were sharing. I was feeling incredibly welcomed.
And from the restaurant some of the folks headed home. It was after all, a busy work week for many. Some had to get up for work early in the morning. While a bunch of us headed back to KL for a night photo shoot with the symbol of Malaysia in the background.
After my four days volunteering at Sepang International Circuit I got another opportunity to meet up with a few “local” Miata owners. While in Singapore I was hoping to meet an NA owner but unfortunately my flight and his schedules didn’t quite work out. But we tried again in Kuala Lumpur and this time: success! Wei-Ming wanted to give me a few SG Miata stickers. Him and his girlfriend Stephanie organized a nice dinner with me in KL and I got one more chance to take some shots of Wei-Mings car:
In just the first year of ownership of my Miata, I had taken it on a number of Road Trips around the Northeast, including a few trips Upstate New York, several to New England and a few smaller trips down the Jersey Shore. Now, I have embarked on my biggest Road Trip yet to Southeast Asia. Of course I didn’t bring my car along with me but it was a proper Miata Road Trip to be sure.
I had an opportunity to visit MX-5 Miata / Roadster owners in 3 countries: Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. Besides meeting people and sharing delicious local foodie experiences with them I also had a chance to ride along and drive some cars around Bangkok, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and have returned from the trip with a phone full of pictures and videos from an adventure of a lifetime.
I would like to share these experiences in a few posts which I will outline below:
There’s no way I could possibly share all 500+ photos from this amazing adventure so I would encourage the interested readers to look up my Mazda MX-5 Miata Road Trip facebook page and see many more photos shared on there for your Liking.
This would probably be a good place to give a little background about the trip and how it all came together. So to start, I needed an excuse to go to region in the first place. And I was lucky enough to be invited to a friend’s wedding in Bangkok. I was even luckier when I discovered that Sepang International Circuit was hosting an event a week after the wedding, and not just any event, one of my favorite events at present, the Sepang 12 hours endurance race featuring amazing GT3, GTC and GT4 machinery from around the world.
Once I had the trip planned I explored the Miata angle. I had attempted to organize something for my previous two trips to Europe this year visiting Germany for the Nurburgring 24h race in May and Belgium for the Spa 24h in July but nothing really materialized so I was optimistically cautious about managing my expectations for Southeast Asia… I was however very pleasantly surprised and humbled by the amount of MX-5 owners that actually came out to meet me and how friendly they all were.
I relied on a variety of facebook groups to get the meet-ups set up and more or less organized. I was very lucky to find so many active groups including the Miata Club of Thailand, Miata Club Singapore, MX-5 Malaysia Community and Miata & MX-5 SEA (Southeast Asia) Region page. In each community I also tried to seek one contact person to rely on for communication once I was on the ground. On this trip I didn’t bother getting local SIM cards in each country so I completely relied on WiFi where I could find it, and having a local contact really helped to keep things running smoothly. I will write more about my contacts in each individual post later on, but suffice to say I am extremely grateful to each and every one of them for the warm hospitality they had offered me, the experiences they had treated me to, and the amazing friendship they extended to a stranger with a similar interest (MX-5!).
Looking back at my cheesy posts and even more cheesy photos, like the one below, I’m amazed people took me seriously enough to meet with, especially in such big numbers. It was totally unexpected.
But I’m so glad they did because I’m sure the friendships made on this trip will last. And while I have been to Southeast Asia many times before and was even lucky enough to live there on a short working holiday stint, this was a completely new experience for me, and one I was very much surprised by. It was meant to be a trip for a wedding and a race to marshal and instead the Miata aspect completely took over as a theme throughout the journey.
I would highly recommend this experience to any Miata owners or even Car Enthusiasts in general (wherever you live in the world) to try on your travels. You would get an adrenaline rush like no other!
Special Thanks to:
Tanet, my Thailand fixer and a lucky owner of several generations of MX-5’s including this beautiful 2008 NC GT PRHT that I got to ride in on a five hour Road Trip to the northern border with Laos (including 1 hour behind the wheel). An amazingly friendly and generous fellow to whom I’m incredibly thankful!
Woon, my Singapore fixer and the only owner I got to meet while briefly visiting the tiny island state in a middle of a busy workweek. Woon met me on his lunch break and was kind enough to show me his car (2008 NC GT) including the amazing interior with an Audio system I’d like to install in my car. He was also kind enough to take me for a short drive which was awesome. So thankful for the opportunity!
David and Martin, my fixers in Malaysia. While David was kind enough to drive me around in his beautiful 2008 NC GT PRHT, on our way to dinner and an amazing photo shoot by the Petronas Twin Towers. Martin kept me abreast of all the plans being made while I was busy running around Thailand and Singapore, sadly I didn’t actually get an opportunity to meet Martin or his car which was recently converted from Automatic to Manual transmission and painted a beautiful Brown color not typically found on a Miata. I’m really thankful to David for spending the time with me and being an awesome host and to Martin for helping with the planning.
And finally Wei-Ming and Stephanie, a “Miata couple” that met because of the car, they each own an NA Miata (I’m so jealous!). Wei-Ming and I almost met-up in Singapore but unfortunately I ran out of time and had to rush to the airport. But he and Stephanie were kind enough to meet me in KL after the races before I rushed back to the airport again to fly home. What an amazing opportunity! I’m grateful to them for the meeting, the delicious dinner they treated me to and some cool SG MX-5 stickers I will proudly display on my car.
Sepang 12h was one of those must-do events I’ve been contemplating for ages, and now I could say I’ve finally done it. In it’s current reincarnation the event was put together by the SRO together with SIC (Sepang International Circuit) as a precursor to the upcoming SRO Intercontinental GT Challenge, which in the future will include the Bathurst 12h event in Australia as well as the crown event of the Blancpain GT series: Spa 24h in Belgium.
Things came together for the event thanks to a friend’s wedding I wanted to attend in Bangkok the week prior. I was very excited that things came together so nicely, though the actual registration was a bit of an up and down experience. I really wanted to try my hand doing something new this time around. After reaching out to some contacts I had hoped to be in Pit Lane as a Pit & Grid marshal. But I noticed some resistance from the very beginning especially since I wanted to bring a fellow Singaporean marshal along to give him a new experience. After a little more inquiry it was clear that Pit wasn’t going happen for me, so I asked my friends at Turn 6 to take me back to make sure I get to volunteer and not become a spectator. My buddy Joey was accepted by a friend that chiefs a post on Turn 7. And we were set to go. When I arrived at the track I discovered that I was indeed put on the Pit & Grid team. I felt bad, and wanted to see if I could work at least one day in the pits and then move back to my team trackside, but that wasn’t possible. And I’m sure I made a number of people from the Pit & Grid team very unhappy.
But the day to day work at Turn 6 went along very smoothly. It was fantastic to see the team again, though many of them weren’t present and we worked on a skeleton crew of just a handful of people. I took advantage of the opportunity to visit Turn 7 a bunch of times over the weekend, where they gave me a chance to Blue flag a little and that made me very happy.
Having a rental car for the first time in Malaysia allowed me to visit the pit lane several times over the weekend whenever we had some free time. So I got plenty of pictures from the garages and ultimately from the Pit Walk on race day. I even managed to bring a British marshal who was spectating, to check out the station set up (with permission from the post chief of course). It was amazing.
The race itself was relatively uneventful. This being the rainy season caused two red flags to be displayed during the 12 hour race. Resulting in some much needed breaks for us to take around dinner time while the skies opened up and there was a spectacular lightning storm overhead. It was pretty beautiful. At the start of the event the local Clearwater Ferrari team jumped ahead which I thought was predictable. But they ran into trouble with repeated tire blowouts. And then a number of other cars took the lead including a beautiful livery Thai Ferrari. A french McLaren jumped ahead, while the Bentley’s seemed to struggle mid pack. And then Audi took the lead until the very end, winning the race (this being an SRO event, that seemed predictable also).
And then after the feature race there was a local race day on Sunday featuring Formula 4 SEA cup and Caterham Racing Series. The day was incredibly sleepy and only got exciting when the skies opened up again with a much heaving downpour than the day before. The day ended with a fantastic dinner with my fellow Teammates at a local TomYum restaurant around the corner from the track… I absolutely loved this opportunity and would love to return again.
Can’t wait to return to Sepang International Circuit again!
Motorsport Marshal, Miata Driver, Hot Wheels Collector