From the largest super bikes gathering that had a recorded grand total of an estimated 1300 Sports and luxury motorcycles gathering on the main straight of Sepang to the Saturday night rave party and two whole days of intense high octane racing from the ultimate JDM race cars on the Sepang International Circuit that has hosted a staggering 100,000 fans; a whopping 20,000 more from 2012, Super GT round 3 in Malaysia has been an absolute dream. The Organizers JP Motorsports have always placed emphasis on providing the ultimate bang for buck experience; with a vast array of activities that can be enjoyed over the weekend and they have certainly stayed true to their word; with the Affinbank motor show packing an even bigger punch than before with an eclectic mix of ultra rare and exotic cars along with the new inclusion of the insane automotive entity all the way from Australia, Summernats; with their crazy entry of cars that total up to several thousands of glorious horsepower all in one location.
Day 1 (Saturday) at Sepang was rather quiet without much crowd which was advantageous for us; We had the chance to get up close and personal with the extremely diverse collection of cars at the motor show, many of which we have never seen in real life before such as the Delorean DMC. Cars that I have only seen images of on the internet and in magazines were on display like the Nissan Leaf that has been styled by Impul; a fully electric auto mobile that is regarded as the way of the future. Where there are car events especially of this magnitude, there are bound to be beautiful girls and models with friendly personalities and warming smiles.
After a quick exploration of the Motor show we dropped our equipment off and picked up our track access vests and headed out to grab some coverage of the main attraction. A CRZ gathering that consisted of about 160 CRZs were doing a track parade and this is definitely something we’ve never seen before. They were even going out in colour coordinated sequence, white in a group; red in a group etc. and that shows the level of attention to detail in the organization of the entire weekend. Leading the pack of hybrids was a rather special one; a special sticker wrapped CRZ that served as an official car of which belonged to the organizers, bearing dragon ball Z motifs.
After the CRZ parade the Super GT cars finally got to head out to the track for the shakedown session and the qualifying laps that determined their starting positions on the grid for Sunday’s main race. The moment we stepped out of the Nissan sponsored Media shuttles the cars had already begun their runs and we wasted no time in getting down to business. In the cars department, there have been a few changes; Honda’s entry of 2 CRZ hybrids for the GT300 class and the Evangelion team Upgrading their Eva Racer to the brand new McLaren MP4-12C. The inclusion of a new manufacturer Ferrari is also a new addition to this year’s lineup, with Mach 5 styling from the blockbuster film Speed racer. This year the Autobacs cars also had minor changes, with discontinuation of the ASL Garaiya, with the HSV-010 from Honda as a replacement. Rumours have been spreading that Honda will no longer be using this extraordinary engineering V8 masterpiece next year, with plans of a Hybrid V6 to be utilised. When we were making our way from different shooting positions on the track we noticed that the GT Queens from Japan that were employed by each respective race team were being shown around Sepang in preparation for their meet and greet session with the spectators for Sunday.
The Evangelion Racing team’s new MP4-12C.
One of Honda’s GT300 class entries the Honda CRZ Hybrid.
The diversity of cars is not only prominent in the motor show but is prominent on track as well, from Porches to Audis, Hondas to Mercedes being used. The Mercedes SLS were a popular choice among the teams with 3 in use and one can certainly see why; the car has such impressive styling and a magnificent soundtrack to match.
The all time favourite of many Super GT followers; the HSV-010.
The Audi R8, with a menacing presence; thanks to the signature Audi Grille Styling.
The Ferrari 458 of team Mach 5, a new addition to this year’s spectacular lineup.
The Subaru BRZ; a car that has been basking in endless hype and still is since its launch last year
Day 1 for the Race teams were spent pretty much on practicing technique; refueling and replacing the tyres for the pit crew and for the drivers to smash out the quickest lap possible for the ultimate advantage for Sunday’s main race.
That’s all for Saturday’s activities, stay tuned for coverage on Sunday’s main race and activities!
Words by – Eugene Chan
Photography – Eugene Chan