2008 Merdeka Endurance Race
To Attract More Teams

SIC General Manager Datuk Azmi Murad (Centre), event director of the 2008 Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race announce Silverstone as the Official Tyre for Class B & C, Cartrade. ABT would be providing the official cars for the event. 

31st July 2008, Sepang – With the race exactly a month away, the 2008 Merdeka Millennium Endurance race (MME) has already secured a total of 47 entries and race promoters, Sepang International Circuit (SIC) is confident of a registration of more than 100 entries this year.

“Again, the response from the motor racing fraternity for this race is very encouraging. We had 103 cars and 309 drivers registering last year and I am confident that the numbers would be about the same; if not more. The MME has clearly progressed to become Asia’s Biggest Race as it had aspired when we first mooted the idea of organising the 12-hour endurance race in 2000,” said SIC General Manager Datuk Azmi Murad, who is the event director of the 2008 Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race.

According to Azmi, the 2008 event had generated a lot of interest from the international teams and he attributed the interest from the new regulations introduced this year to allow up to 20 cars from the open class for fully modified cars and 20 more from Class A (for cars above 1900cc) to qualify for the race.

“We’ll definitely see more supercars this time round. I am pleased to say that we have very good response from the international teams,” said Azmi, adding that the new regulations to reduce the lesser powered cars was aimed at enhancing safety for the competitors and to provide more enjoyment for the fans.

Divided in four classes and with three drivers to a car, the two remaining classes competing in the MME are Class B for cars with engines between 1601cc and 1900cc and Class C for cars below 1600cc, which used to have 26 cars for each class on the starting grid. This year, Class B will have a maximum of 19 cars and only 18 cars for Class C.

Entering its ninth edition this year, the MME only allows a maximum of 77 starters on the grid as provided by the circuit license issued by the International Federation of Automobile (FIA), the world’s motorsports governing body.

While qualifying would be held on August 29, the race would be flagged off at 11.45am on the following day on Saturday, 30 August and ending 12 hours later at 11.45pm. This year’s event would also feature three support races – the Asia Supercars Challenge, the Hong Kong Classic Cars Series and the single-seater junior formula Petronas Formula Xperience.

Last year, the MME race was won by the Hong Leong Kencana Racing Team with drivers Swedish Sven Herberger, Lars Erik Nielsen of Denmark and Malaysian Mokhzani Mahathir, which competes in the open class in a Porsche GT3 Cup RSR. Class A was won by Honda Malaysia Racing Team that featured two Super GT drivers Hiroko Katoh and Shinya Hosokawa and Malaysian Eddie Lew in a two-liter Honda Civic Type R race car.

Class B was won by an all Malaysian team of Boy Wong Yew Choong, Tek Kean Kang and Soh Kee Koon from Type R Racing Team in a Honda Integra while JC Racing topped the battle of 1600cc Class C with drivers Harry Chai, Tam Wei Han and Frank Yee of Hong Kong; driving a Honda Civic.

“We were treated to a superb race last year. This year should be even more exciting. I am made to understand that we would be seeing more top international teams and international drivers this year,” said Azmi at a special ceremony to announce the official partners for 2008 Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race.

While RTM will be the Host Broadcaster and Silverstone is the Official Tyre for Class B and C, Cartrade – ABT would be providing the official cars for the event.

At the event, Hong Leong Kencana Racing Team handed over the MME Challenge Trophy to Azmi; symbolizing that start of a one-month countdown of the event. Tek Kean Kang of Type R Racing Team handed over the Silverstone Challenge Trophy for Class B and C.

To catch the exciting news and watch the latest result on Merdeka Millennium Endurance, visit www.malaysiangp.com.my for more info.

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