Between the 7th and 9th of August 2015, Kuala Lumpur will play host to its first Grand Prix set right in the heart of the city where a 3.25km track will wind around the city’s most iconic locations with race cars reaching speeds over 200 km/h.
The event itself is the result of a five-year agreement between GT Global Race (M) Sdn Bhd and Kuala Lumpur City Hall and is intended to become a major regional attraction that follows in the footsteps of the Macau Grand Prix.
According to The Star, Simon Gardini, project director and technical consultant, said he hopes that this race will be the start of a long-running annual event – as least 50 years by his projections. A seemingly high bar, but seeing as how the Macau Grand Prix is going strong after more than 60 years, perhaps Malaysia is poised to do the same.
The three-day race event weekend will feature numerous races that range from the open-wheel Formula Masters to the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo series, with more to be announced.
Targeting a Category 3 license from the FIA, the future street track - consisting of 10 left corners and 6 right - will run through the Kuala Lumpur city centre and will have cars racing along Jalan Sultan Ismail, Jalan Pinang, Jalan P Ramlee before screaming along the main straight that runs on Jalan Ampang, alongside Suria KLCC.
Gardini said that the streets of Kuala Lumpur lends itself quite nicely to a street race, “Many cities are also built in boxy grids which means many turns end up being 90 degrees but the streets in KL are not like that. There are curves here that adds an interesting variation to the circuit and more importantly, creates a better spectacle,”
Insofar as how Kuala Lumpur’s usual day-to-day affairs will be affected, Gardini commented on how the organizers are working very closely with City Hall to ensure as many precautions as possible are taken to ensure as minimal a disruption as possible.
In preparation, road signs, traffic fixtures and other possible obstructions would have to be switched to removable alternatives. In addition, DBKL gave its assurance of a smooth track with manhole covers, potholes, dips, and other imperfections will be fixed to become level with the road. Actual resurfacing work is said to be done at least two months prior to allow proper settling of the material and construction of physical structures for the race should commence about seven weeks in advance. Also, three major roads will be reopened at the end of each day during the race weekend.
Come August, Kuala Lumpur should be teeming with excitement and buzz in the lead up to the race weekend. Far from just being about racing, surrounding the event would be food festivals, track challenges, concerts, cultural shows, auto shows, and corporate events.