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Central Region News

December 22, 2005 22:24 PM

SIC To Organise Bigger Local Events In 2006

PETALING JAYA, Dec 22 (Bernama) -- While Formula One (F1) will remain as its top priority in 2006, Sepang International Circuit (SIC) has declared it will be giving equally strong emphasis in the organization of its local events next year, including further expanding the Malaysian Super Series (MSS) championship.

"For 2006, the MSS will see two new events; the Super Compact Championship and the Formula Malaysia Championship.

"With this expansion, we may have to look at splitting the MSS into cars and bikes events only - running on separate weekends," said SIC Director Datuk Seri Bashir Ahmad Abdul Majid, who is also the Managing Director of Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB).

He also said that the SIC AAM Malaysian Motocross Championship would also be expanded into a full 12-round championship with three rounds of enduro challenge.

Speaking at the 2005 SIC Championship Dinner and Award Presentation ceremony here Thursday, Bashir also announced increases in prize money for the 12-hour Merdeka Millennium Endurance (MME) race, which currently offers some RM200,000 in cash and prizes.

"F1 will remain as SIC's top priority for next year and we aim to repeat, if not better, this year's race attendance of over 106,000 fans," he said, adding that the eighth edition of the F1 Malaysian Grand Prix will be held from 17th to 19th March.

The 2006 F1 World Championship opens in Bahrain on March 12.

"Obviously, this is something new for us at SIC as all the previous rounds were held two weeks after the preceding race. However, with the huge experience of the existing team, I am fully confident that the next year's F1 Malaysian Grand Prix will be well promoted and organized; and with another huge attendance of racing fans - local and foreign," Bashir added.

Bashir said the new Super Compact Championship for the MSS will involve cars below 1000cc while the Formula Malaysia Championship will be competed by Formula Hayabusa single-seaters, which will be prepared by Silverstone Malaysia.

Introduced in 2002, the MSS is aimed at providing more competitive races for locals in the hope of unearthing new talents among Malaysians and as a platform for locals to be actively involved in the full package of motor racing as drivers, mechanics, team managers, administrators and public relations.

Concluding SIC's programmes for the year, he said that this year 2005 had been a very eventful year for SIC.

"Apart from the annual events of Formula One, MotoGP, Japan GT, the MME, the Malaysian Super Series, the National Motocross Championship and the highly popular Sepang Drag Battle, we hosted for the very first time the A1 Grand Prix of Nations and the Japanese K-Car Championship," he said.

He said outside of these events, SIC had also successfully organized this year the MotoGP tests, various cars and bikes test sessions, track days, private gatherings of motoring enthusiasts, race camps, advanced driving courses and casual rides; making 2005 the busiest year ever since SIC was established in 1999.

At the dinner, Bashir also presented prizes to the overall champions of the MSS, the Sepang Drag Battle and the AAM-SIC Malaysian Motocross Championship.

He also presented motorcycles to the winners of the MotoGP and MSS spectator contests.

-- BERNAMA

 

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