Thursday, 7 February 2013

Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix - The Heat Is On

Motorsports has been long established in Malaysia and we have successfully organised many events of world status like the FIM Road Racing Grand Prix World Championship from 1991 onwards (better known as MotoGP), the FIM Superbike World Championship, the FIM Endurance World Championship, FIM Asia Road Racing Championship, FIA ASIA Pacific Rally and the FIA Formula One World Championship Championship from 1999 onwards. These are on top of the numerous national and state level motorsports events being held almost every other week. However, the real crowd pullers will always be the two annual international events – Formula One (F1) and the World Motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP). Along the way, Malaysia has managed to produce a couple of world class drivers and riders in the likes of Moto 3 rider Muhammad Zulfahmi Khairuddin, Fairuz Fauzy and Alex Yoong in F1 and GP2 and Karamjit ‘The Flying Sikh’ Singh in international rallying scene.

The beautiful Sepang International Circuit was designed by German designer Hermann Tilke

Come 22 March, the much awaited Malaysia Grand Prix at Sepang Circuit will again be the focus of the international motorsports enthusiasts. The local Malaysians will have more reasons to come and watch the event this time around as there will be three Malaysian F1 teams in contention. They are team Lotus, team Mercedes AMG Petronas and team Caterham. That’s quite a power to be reckoned with, and it reflects the nation’s seriousness in further developing the sports.

I was one of the spectators on the hillstands during the first Formula One Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix on 17 October 1999, which saw a dramatic ending. Michael Schumacher, in a Ferrari, allowed Eddie Irvine to pass him twice, which led Irvine to went on and win the race. Immediately after the race the two Ferraris were disqualified due to an infringement on their bargeboards. This meant that Mika Häkkinen (in a MacLaren Mercedes) was effectively handed the championship by default. However, a couple of months after the incident, Ferrari appealed against the FIA's decision in court and both drivers were subsequently reinstated. I went on to watch three more Malaysian F1 Grand Prix after that, the last one being three years ago which saw the same controversial driver, Michael Schumacher of Mercedes GP, not finishing the race due to wheel issue.

And if the thrills of the F1 race is not enough to get your adrenaline rushing, then there is one party that will set your motor running to the max. It is the Malaysian F1 Grand Prix 2013 post-race concert that will feature the legendary rock band Guns N’ Roses. Yes, you hear me right, it’s The Guns N’ Roses! The concert is free for all One Ticket Unlimited (ITU) grandstand ticket holders. ITU is also a passport for additional privileges including premium packages for transportation with ERL or Skybus, F&B voucher, exclusive 15th years anniversary merchandise and additional discounts during the month-long 1Malaysia GP Sale 2013 for certain category of tickets. Hillstand ticket holders will have to add an extra RM120 to catch the must-watch rock act.

So, for all of you motorhead fans out there, come on over and lets watch the ultimate event in motor racing and conclude it all with the explosive rock performance by Guns N’ Roses!

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