The Asia Classic Car Challenge (ACCC) starts its 2012 race season at the Sepang International Circuit on 25th – 27th May.
Evolving from the Classic Car Club of Hong Kong Race Series (CCCHKRS), which has run at SIC since 2002, the ACCC will see five Classes of cars racing together over two ten lap races on the weekend. The Classic Car Club of Hong organises the ACCC under its in-house regulations and is very excited to see the evolution of its racing activities, which started in 1982 at the Macau GP, into the ACCC.
The ACCC caters to Classic Race Cars which are based on genuine series production cars manufactured before 31 December 1988. In 2011, the series saw 40 different drivers, 15 manufacturers and 27 different models represented.
Manufacturers to be represented in 2012 include BMW, Porsche, Ferrari, Ford, Lotus, Toyota, Datsun, Mini, Jaguar, TVR, Alfa Romeo and Honda among others.
The series Class structure is based on engine size per 1,000kg. Class A is up to 1,800cc, Class B is 1,800 to 2,700cc, Class O is over 2,700cc. Class C is for cars with non-original engines and Class R is for Replicas of Classic cars and other cars with approval of the Race Committee.
In 2012, the ACCC will see a number of new teams and drivers joining the series, with a four car team from Thailand joining from Round 2 as well as new cars and drivers from Malaysia and Hong Kong and even cars from the USA and UK.
Series entrants vary from drivers who do their own mechanical support and pit work, to teams running professional race engineers and crews for multiple cars. The series formula and regulations ensure that all cars are competitive in their Class, so those with smaller racing budgets are equally able to compete for the podium along the bigger budget teams.
Drivers compete for Class Championship points in all Classes and Class A, B and O drivers also compete for the Overall Series Championship.
2011 Class B and Overall Series Champion, Matthew Smith, is looking forward to returning.
” 2011 was a fantastic year for me” said Matt, “not just because I won the Championship but I had brilliant battles on the track almost every race – and never exchanged any paint !”
“It was one of the best seasons of racing action I’ve ever had and 2012 looks like being even better. The name change to Asia Classic Car Challenge really reflects the wide range of competitors we have in the series, which should take a big step forward this year. It looks like we will have the biggest grids the series has seen for years. I’m going to have a very tough job defending the title, but it will be great fun and I can’t wait to get started!”
One of the well-known returning competitors in 2012 is 2010 Class B and Overall Championship Winner, Ian Geekie. “I am really looking forward to racing the number 10 Datsun 240Z again with the Asia Classic Car Challenge. Looks like there will be some very strong competition this year with a number of new entries from around the region so I expect to enjoy a tough fight and some exciting racing” said Ian.
Some of the new entries in 2012 include a Ferrari 308 GTB,Porsche 914/6, Porsche 944, two Toyota MR2s and three BMW E30Ms. There are also a number of returning cars.
Chairman of the Racing Section of the CCCHK, Daniel Bilski, will be back with his number 59 Porsche 911 IROC RSR clone. The “Ruby-Stone Red” (or Pink to everyone else) Porsche, is back after a year away.
“Last year I had to rent a car for the season due to my little incident in New Zealand at the Southern Festival of Speed. Classic World Racing provided me with the Ford Capri, which was a blast to drive in Class B. in 2011 I ended up second in the Championship but this year, I will be pushing for one higher” said Bilski.
“I can’t wait for the first practice of 2012 to start. The car has just been through a ten-month complete rebuild by Barry Forth in New Zealand and promises to be even faster than before. We had a shake down in New Zealand a few months ago and the car feels very quick”.
Bilski continued“it will also be very exciting to see Clive Bate in his fantastic Martini RSR and Joe Sevack in his Brumos RSR both back with the series, all cars Barry has built.The competition will be fierce this season in all of the Classes with lots of new entries. Class O will be no exception, with the RSRs fighting it out with the super-fast TVRs, Mustang GT350, Corvette Stingray and Bertie McCrory’s super light Lotus 7 coming back to give everyone a run for their money”.
Bilski continued, “as Chairman of the CCCHK Racing Section, I am thrilled to see the growing support the series has. A lot of work has gone into building our brand awareness and I am delighted with the response. We are expecting another 6 or 7 additional cars to join from Round 2 and I expect us to hit 25+ car grids on a regular basis during the year”.
“It’s a fantastic to be associated with such a great series, specially, when our goal is so simple – provide the best Classic Car Racing Series in Asia, for enthusiasts who share our passion.”
Management of the series falls to the Chairman of the Race Committee, the Race Committee itself and Velocity Sports Management, who provide all administrative, logistical and operational support for the race weekends. Admi and Natasha are the principals behind Velocity Sports Management, who make sure the weekends run smoothly.
The CCCHKRS, and now the ACCC, has been the partner series to the Malaysian Super Series (MSS) since 2002. In 2012, the ACCC will context 12 races, over six weekends. Four of these will be on MSS weekends, with the remaining events as support races to the Malaysia Merdeka Endurance Race and the Sepang 1,000km Endurance Race.
The season opener will see the ACCC sharing the schedule with the Malaysian Super Series, GT Asia, Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia, JK Asia and Macau Touring Car series. It promises to be an action packed weekend of quality racing.
There are arrive-and-drive Race Car Rental packages on offer in 2012, so anyone who wants race has a great opportunity to experience the ACCC without needing their own car.a
words & pix: SIC