Heat is on as MME turns 10

Published on July 20th, 2009

The tenth edition of the Merdeka Millennium Endurance (MME) Race promises more thrills as faster cars pack the grid to get their game on.

Things are bound to heat up following the separation of the B and C classes into the newly-formed Sepang 1000km (S1K) race.

“This year’s race should be much safer for all the cars in Class O and Class A. There were many comments and incidents in the past due to the speed difference between the faster Class O and Class A cars compared to the other classes,” said Razlan Razali, Chief Executive Officer of Sepang International Circuit (SIC) during the launch of this year’s MME in Subang Jaya.

During the previous editions of the enduro, only 35 slots were allocated for the Class O and Class A cars but now with the slower Class B and Class C cars moving to the S1K, all 77 slots on the grid is up for the taking by the higher class teams.

“We are confident of a high turn out this year with a maximum number of teams filling the grid for next year’s edition,” added Razlan.

Heaving the tag of the biggest race in South East Asia, the MME has always garnered plenty of attention and with the changes this year it has had the magnet effect on even more teams with an increasing number of foreign teams participating.

Previously, the slower classes on the grid were a detractor for a number of foreign teams.

The number of participants is encouraging thus far and about 50 cars are expected to line up on the grid with entries from Germany, Japan, Australia and Italy.

The quota for this year has been slightly altered too with Class A being split into two, A1 and A2. The reason behind this decision is to separate the production supercars (Group B, GT4 or non-FIA homologated production sports cars) and the production sports and saloon cars (Group N, Group A or non-FIA homologated touring cars).

Now the segregation for the slots will see 27 cars from Class O, 25 for Class A1 and 25 for Class A2 lining up come 8 August.

Furthermore, the MME has also been a somewhat point of emulation for other races being organised on the same scale.

“The organization of the MME has been very successful and coordinated machine and it would do well for other races to take a leaf out of its book in holding a race of their own,” infused Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Datuk Razali Ibrahim, during the launch.

“We had intended to introduce and official tyre sponsor for this year’s race but the sponsorship came in too late. Perhaps we might make an announcement later for a possible tyre sponsor for the next year’s edition,” explained Razlan.

As has been the norm for the previous number of MME races, all the cars on the grid will be powered by Petronas fuels as it remains the official fuel for the MME.

So come the weekend of 6 to 8 August, make sure you’re in the beeline for SIC to catch South East Asia’s hottest race. Best part is entrance is absolutely free. While you’re there, make sure you come catch the TrafficMagOnline crews as well

text & pix: Dinesh Appavu

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