MMER2009: More excitement at the Sepang International Circuit

Published on August 5th, 2009

To date there are already 46 confirmed participations from Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Japan and Australia in the 10th Anniversary of Merdeka Millenium Endurance Race this time around and Malaysian keeping true to their spirit, the organizer is expecting more participations despite a RM2000.00 penalty fee for late entry. This is one of the most anticipated race organized by SIC and for the past nine years the participations had grown progressively along with awareness adding more fun and thrills both on and off the tracks for the whole 12 hours.

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In traditional metal gifts, gold represents 50 years, for 25 years it’s silver but not many people know that tenth year is represented with tin, in which a befitting correlation to the Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race MMER as this year it’s the tenth anniversary of the biggest race in South East Asia. This year’s trophy was inspired by a car’s speedometer, with the three parts representing three drives working in sync to win the race. The speedometer motif is in pewter with a combination of satin & brilliant finish, and gold plating. There are 27 plaques all together for categories O, A1 and A2.

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Here’s a bit of background on the MMER. It was started back in the year 2000, initiated by the late Tan Sri Basir Ismail as another way to celebrate Merdeka hence the name. It featured 55 cars to a grid that can safely fit 77 cars allowed by FIA. That quickly changed in 2001 when the race started with a full grid. The race format is simple, two or a maximum of three drivers take turns to complete the most number of laps as possible on the 5.543km long Sepang International Circuit in a 12 hour time limit.

Previously the 77 slots were broken down to four categories, class O for the super cars and such, class A for cars such as the Civic Type R, class B popular with Satria GTi, and the smallest is class C for cars such as Honda Civics and Protons. This year, as the tenth year of the race, a major change has been made to the classes. The “slower” classes, B and C, have been moved to a separate race by itself, the Sepang 1000km race.

This opens up the numbers of cars that can join the race in the O and A classes, which not only means more supercars on the starting grid but also a safer race. In addition to the additional slots available, the class A will be split into two, A1 and A2, to separate between production supercars as A1 (Group B or GT4 or non FIA homologated production sports) and production sports and saloon cars in A2 (Group N and Group A or non FIA homologated Touring Cars).

With the confirmation of 46 teams, be sure to witness these teams racing in cars such as BMW 3 Series, Lotus Exige and 2-Eleven, Toyota Altezza, Honda Civic, Integra, S2000, Mini Cooper and on top of the “food chain” the Porsches, Dodge Viper, Ginetta, Aston Martin, Mosler and Marcos for the grand prize of RM50,000.00, not that much as far as we all know it, it’s your rep and bragging rights that matters most.

Starting early on raceday morning there will be programs for the kids such as colouring contest for age 4 to 12, kids traditional dance competition, showtime with Fatin Nurafifah and quizzes with loads of prizes to be won. For the fruit fanatics don’t miss this chance to sample some local fruits and there will also be food tasting booths at the Mall Area.

There will also be special vehicles on display such as the Petronas tanker, Police vehicles from the fast Mitsubishi EVO “Helang” and bikes. To add more excitement 57 cars from four car clubs such as Lotus Car Club Malaysia and Waja Club will park their cars for display at the mall area.

Bring the whole family, your mates, girlfriends or even your mistresses for a 12-hour of fun… the more the merrier! Entrance is free, for more information please log on to Sepang Circuit.

text: Hage’  pix: Syawal Ahmad

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