Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sepang International Circuit : More to than just F1 Races

Let's be totally honest here, what is the first thing that comes to mind when I say Sepang International Circuit (SIC) ? F1 Races of course! Or Motor GP! But what if I told you, there is just more to than those races that actually happens over at SIC?

The SIC is officiated on March 9, 1999 by Tun Dr.Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia's former Prime Minister. This massive and modern circuit was completed in a span of a year and two months, which is a pretty remarkable feat!

Driving here or getting a cab may be the only option to get here, as it is situated about 85km from the city of KL. The flip side to this, it is close to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), which makes it a suitable place to hold events, from world-class international ones to a private affair like weddings.

A bunch of bloggers were invited for an exclusive Circuit Tour, for us it was a sneak peek of the circuit normally restricted to public. After a short brief about the company, we were brought to heart of the circuit - the Pit Building. 

The Pit Building
State of the art facilities are found here - Race Control Room, Time Keeping Room, Management Offices, Paddock Clubs (suitable for hosting large events such as convention or ballroom) and 33 Pits, truly an impressive control center.

Time Keepers in action
Space for rent! Spacious and air conditioned.
We were lucky in a way as we get to witness the start of an actual race (the Sepang 1000km Endurance Race) and experienced life behind the fast lane (well, just at the Starting Grid). The medias will get photo and interview opportunities with the drivers before the actual race begin. 

Photo Opp with Tengku Djan, Proton's racer and le bloggers.
We also experienced dining nearby the Perdana Suite (reserved mainly for Royalties and Foreign Dignitaries). The open air dining during the race could be a bit too loud for casual conversations, but I would say that the venue would have a different ambiance at night, facing the unconventional scene of the race track.

Inside the Perdana Suite
The Welcome Centre is where the administrative offices are located. We were privileged to actually go behind the scene and visit the Race Control Room, where races are monitored via a network of fiber optic cabling systems. It does feel as if I was in a rocket launching command centre (wild imagination).

Race Control Room
Oh, and what tour would it be WITHOUT a pose at the podium? #selfexcitedmoment

Look! No competition :)
SIC also have an impressive Media Centre. Press Conference Room, 430 seats of workstations equipped with power and internet sockets, television, and mini stage - One rather impressive place to hold a conference I must say.

The Media Centre
Probably one of the most iconic view of SIC is the Grandstand Tower. Its roof architectural influence is from the hibiscus, Malaysia's national flower and this tower is the highest possible constructed building due to height restrictions since SIC is located close to the KLIA.

The iconic Towers of SIC
For those who craves for something that is more physically enticing, there are go kart and paintball facilities as well, just ensure you make your appointments before hand. There's also a National Automobile Museum that showcases some of Malaysia's automobile history for those interested in cars and such. 

Blast from the Past of Vroom Vroom proportion.
Right opposite the museum, there's a merchandise shop where you can purchase SIC themed memorabilia - shirts, caps, umbrella, miniatures - they probably have what you want as souvenir!

Merchandises for sale
For more information, or to purchase tickets for future races, do head to the SIC webpage. I personally felt that this was an interesting tour, given that I almost made it to the previous F1 race (but I was late and couldn't find a parking and headed home :\ ), and I am glad that I participated in this tour. Do give it a shot, and share your experience and new insights of the Sepang International Circuit to your friends and family, I believe this would help boost and help SIC to maintain and further better the facilities for more upcoming events.