The 2023 CarTell Speedfest held back in May was not only a milestone for the team here at Carlist.my and its CarTell community, but an event that marked a notch in our longstanding relationship with premier tyre manufacturer Bridgestone.
Co-hosting the event alongside such a big name famed for providing innovative crucial hardware for a multitude of motorsport disciplines including Formula 1 was a highlight of our year, but their title sponsorship also meant that the winners of the track sessions walked away with lucrative tyre vouchers from Bridgestone.
We caught up with one of those winners, who fielded a matte grey and thoroughly modified F82 BMW M4 that managed to post up a scorching time that landed it 3rd fastest overall. The car itself, a frequent sight at local track days, also happens to be the fastest BMW M4 around the Sepang International Circuit, a title awarded by the Malaysia Book of Records, with its time of 2 minutes 20.549 seconds.
The owner, known to many as Jai, is also one of the founders of the local BMW owners community, M4NTAP. And when it comes to tyres, there are plenty of reasons why the Bridgestone range presented some very appealing options.
We asked him about the BMW community, his car, the track experiences and achievements, as well as the tyres he purchased with the voucher, a set of Potenza RE-71 RS that are positioned to narrow the gap between track and road use.
Can you tell us a bit about your involvement with M4NTAP?
"M4NTAP was founded in September 2020 as a small group of owners that wanted to go for a ‘cendol drive’. From there more people stared coming in and we started to host our own track day around October 2021. I’m one of the four co-founders of the group and it has been a very unique journey for us from a small car group to growing to what it is now."
Can you tell us a bit about your car and how it was one of the fastest cars at CarTell Speedfest?
"The intention for buying this M4 was always to turn it into a track toy so I started modding it right after I got the car. As it is now it has got 610 horsepower at the wheels with a tremendous amount of other modifications that have a combined cost that’s more than the purchase price of the car itself!
It has been a wonderful track car for us but is still able to be driven on the road. Modifying cars is my hobby, but because I am usually busy organising the events, I leave the driving to the professionals."
Are these your first set of Bridgestone tyres and why did you choose them?
"To be honest this is my second set of Bridgestone tyres, specifically the RE-71RS. I had heard a lot of positive feedback from other drivers running these tyres, most of which are from Singapore that drive to Sepang, run laps on the track, and then drive back all on the same set. They were also clocking fast lap times below 2 minutes 20 seconds!
So, my immediate intention after receiving the Bridgestone voucher was to get another set of RE-71RS tyres. As a very amateur driver myself, I think these are best tyre option to have to get the feel of semi-slicks while having the comfort of normal road tyres."
What has been your impression of the Bridgestone RE-71RS?
"It performs well beyond what Bridgestone claims and I believe the compound and the engineering behind it isn’t something you can get from any other brand."
There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.