Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM), the sole distributor of Volkswagen vehicles in Malaysia, organised its first ever track day last month at the Sepang International Circuit.
Unlike most track days we’ve participated in before, the Volkswagen Track Day 2018’s press leg was actually a night session, thanks to the recently fitted night lighting at the Sepang International Circuit.
Not only was it a night session, but also a wet one as the rain came down on us in all its glory for a couple of hours before the session started.
Organised to give the members of the press, owners, potential customers, as well as a few important stakeholders an opportunity to experience the capabilities of the current range of Volkswagen vehicles, VPCM prepared about 20 cars for us to test during the media session, comprising models like the:
- Golf GTI
- Golf R
- Golf R-Line
- Vento Highline
- Passat Comfortline
- Passat Highline
There were different types of driving exercises that night. There were the convoys with no instructors or a lead car for the more experienced participants, guided laps with an instructor in the car for the ones who needed guidance, and taxi rides by professional racer Jazeman Jaafar for those who didn't want to drive but wanted to feel the thrill.
Every run comprised three laps around the south half of the circuit before changing cars.
The models which we managed to get our hands on were the Vento, the Golf R-Line, the Passat Highline, and the Golf R, with the R being the most fun, followed by the R-Line, the Passat, and then the Vento.
After driving for a couple of minutes, we noticed that the circuit looked and felt completely different at night compared to the day. And then, there was the wet factor. We really had to ensure that we were gentle on the throttle to avoid losing control of the car.
After a few laps on our own, we jumped into the cars with the instructors to learn a few things about the differences between driving a car on the racetrack during the day and night, as well as the do’s and don’ts while driving on a wet race track.
As time went on, we got more familiar with the slippery circuit and also the cars we were driving after a few tips from the pros, resulting in runs that were getting smoother as time passed.
After spending an exciting 10 minutes in each car, it was time to grab some refreshments from one of the many food trucks that were stationed at the South Paddock area, and head over to the Polo at the car park for a J-turn demo and trial.
While the track runs and J-turn demos went on until midnight, there were also other activities for those present such as a driving simulator challenge, and a “boot” sale by Malaysian Volksters who were selling all sorts of cool Volkswagen merchandises from their classic VW Kombi vans. Overall, VPCM’s first ever track day was indeed a success as there was something for everyone.
Not only did we get to thoroughly experience the capabilities and features of the many new Volkswagen models for a solid 10 minutes each on the slippery Sepang International Circuit, but we also honed our driving skills thanks to all the tips and input from the driving instructors, making it totally worth bracing the horrendous 2-hour long post-thunderstorm crawl on the ELITE highway to the Sepang International Circuit.
Truth be told, this is an event which every Volkswagen owner out there should look forward to.