Tag Archives: SIC

Sepang 12 hours 2015 Debrief

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.

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sepang 12 hour 2015

Can’t wait to return to Sepang International Circuit again!

Post Card from Sepang 12 Hour Endurance Race in Malaysia

My last event of the 2015 racing season took me to Malaysia for the Sepang 12 hour at Sepang International Circuit.

This was by far one of the more exciting events I’ve done this season, for a variety of reasons. First, I was back in Southeast Asia, perhaps my favorite region in the world to visit. I got to catch up with a bunch of friends I’ve made over the past few visits to Sepang, and I even managed to sneak in a fellow Singaporean marshal to volunteer with me to get a new experience for him.

All in all a great experience. A typical Malaysian weather to experience, and some excellent international machinery on display.

I loved it thru and thru!

Some pix from Pit Walk:

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Stay tuned for more pictures from the post…

Sepang 12 hours Provisional Entry List for the December 2015 Race

Great news! SRO and SIC have released the entry list for the upcoming Sepang 12 hours endurance GT race and the list is pretty lengthy full of exotic machinery including Ferrari 458 Italia, Lamborhini Super Trofeo Huracan, Audi R8 LMS Cup, Porsche 991 and 997 GT3 Cup, McLaren 650S, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG and of course a Honda Civic Type R, Toyota GT86 and a Subaru STi Imprezza to balance things out. Oh yeah, there’s a Lotus Exige there too, a total field of about 26 cars if they all show up.

sepang-12-hours-entry-list

Download: click here.

What’s really interesting about this entry list is not so much who’s on it but where I found it. With SRO’s new involvement in a partnership with Sepang International Circuit (SIC) this event is part of a bigger picture. And I don’t mean like Asian Le Mans Series was (which was the last event I marshaled at Sepang a few years ago), but instead it’s part of a new SRO series called Intercontinental GT Challenge which will also include the world famous Spa 24h race – the crown jewel of the Blancpain Endurance and Sprint Series. As well as a new event at COTA if that place doesn’t go out of business, and Bathurst 12h. What’s most interesting about the Bathurst connection is that’s where I found the entry list posted, not on the Sepang 12h web site but on the Bathurst 12h web site.

I think this points to good things to come in the near future .

I’m excited!

Mazda MX-5: International Road Trip to Bangkok, Thailand; Singapore; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Shanghai, China

My trip to Southeast Asia in December just got a whole lot more interesting. In the past I’ve always gone to the region for the racing – have marshaled in both Singapore and Malaysia many times. I’ve always loved going there for the amazing food. The beautiful landscapes, the beaches, the architecture, etc. But this trip will take on another dimension: Mazda Miata’s!

I’ve made contact with a few clubs in the region and the response has been amazing. I’m so looking forward to this trip!

bangkok kuala lumpur singapore road tirp mx-5 miata mazda

For anyone interested in checking out the local Car Culture or the Car Scene, or the Miata Community check out the following clubs:

miata club of thailand

f-thailandMiata-Thai Club:

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/miatathai

web site: http://www.miata-thai.net/

 

miata club singapore miata sg

f-singaporeMiata Club Singapore: 

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/5736449818/

f-malaysiaMX-5 Malaysia Club:

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mx5my

web site: http://www.mx5my.com/

mx-5 malaysia sea sepang circuit

My goal on this trip is: to meet up with as many local MX-5 owners as possible. It will be pretty exciting because the cars are RHD (right hand drive) and while very similar to mine, are quite different. (Except of course for the Shanghai MX-5’s which should be identical). Besides the obvious difference of where the steering wheel is located, I’m sure to see quite a lot of modifications people do to their cars in Asia. One of the more intriguing things I’ve seen on the forums above so far is the Aston Martin Miata look:

aston martin miata mx-5 thailand
photo credit: Decha Apiromdej

Obviously quite popular in both Thailand and Singapore

aston martin miata mx-5 singapore
photo credit: Woon Ming

Besides the modded cars there’s also special sights to check out, like the Chang International Circuit in Buri Ram or Bira International Circuit in Pattaya, Thailand:

chang international circuit destination of speed miata mx-5
photo credit: Tanet Zoom

I’m not sure if time will permit to actually visit any of the circuits besides Sepang International Circuit where I’ll be volunteering for Sepang 12h but it would be nice if something like that materialized.

My schedule will be as follows:


 

f-thailandBangkok, Thailand: Wed, Dec 2 to Sun, Dec 6

f-singaporeSingapore: Mon, Dec 7 to Tue, Dec 8

f-malaysiaKuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Tue, Dec 8 to Sun, Dec 13

f-chinaShanghai, China: Mon, Dec 14


 

While in Bangkok I’ll be free most of the time except for Sat, Dec 5 when I’ll attend a wedding. I should be flying out to Singapore at like 2am Monday morning which will give me almost two full days there. I’ll arrive Kuala Lumpur Subang airport around 6pm on Tue, Dec 8 and stay in the city until Thur, Dec 10 at which point I’ll probably make my way to the Sepang International Circuit for the weekend of racing. And then leave straight from the track to the airport for my 2am flight to Shanghai Monday morning. While the other cities in Southeast Asia I have visited many times and know my way to get around, Shanghai will be my very first visit. I will also only have about an 8 hour layover which realistically means I’ll have a whole of 4 or 5 hours free to roam the city. Pretty busy schedule if things go as planned!

Stay tuned for updates about this trip… and if you are reading this from any of the destinations on my trip and want to meet up, please get in touch via facebook, twitter or by replying to this post.

Cheers!

Planning a Return to Southeast Asia for the Sepang 12 hour

It has been nearly two years since my last trip to Southeast Asia, and I really miss the place! So while browsing online articles about racing I noticed a schedule change for the Sepang 12 hour event, which I’ve yet to do. Not only that, the SRO of the Blancpain Endurance Series has become involved in promoting the event. And judging by the success of the amazing Spa 24 hour race I recently returned from I think it would give a much needed boost to the GT race in Asia.

So I’m going to sign up as a marshal.

For one getting out of the NYC area in December is an awesome thing just to get away from the snow and cold weather. And there’s no better place to go than Southeast Asia. I miss the food. I miss the people. And I do miss the racing at the Sepang International Circuit.

I will also use this opportunity to plan a side trip to either Singapore or Thailand, or both. It would be great to lounge on a beach for a few days and stuff myself with amazing cuisine.

But the racing will be wonderful also. The news reports from earlier this year suggested that the recently re-structured Asian Le Mans Series which I’ve done in December of 2013 would be held just a week after the SRO Sepang 12h event, but more recent articles suggest the dates have been changed to either November of this year or January of next year. Either way, if there is something interesting happening immediately before or immediately after the Sepang 12h race I’d love to spend another weekend in the region.

It is worth noting that the Sepang 12h this year will fall on the same dates as the Gulf 12h at the Abu Dhabi Circuit in UAE. I’ve done the Gulf 12h two years ago before flying to Sepang for the Asian Le Mans Sereies 3h race, and it was a spectacular event on an amazing circuit. Hopefully both events will see good participation among the global and regional teams. I suspect that some Aussies would choose Sepang over Yas Marina, and possibly more Asian teams would participate there, while European participation would be diluted among both, I think. Either way, it’s nice to have options!

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This news has gotten me really excited. And I can’t wait to plan the trip out using frequent flyer miles I must scramble together from different programs because I don’t have enough in any individual one of them at this point (most were used for the trip to Australia Pacific in February). So stay tuned for more!