With the impending disappearance of Formula 1 from the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) in 2018, there are plans to shift the focus of the circuit towards local and regional events, as well as develop ancillary attractions around the circuit.

Speaking at a press conference during the launch of the SIC-MAM Motorsports Awards, SIC chief executive office Datuk Razlan Razali emphasised that the circuit, which cost RM268 million to build in 1999, is not a white elephant.

“We have a lot of programmes planned for two-wheels, purely because of MotoGP,” said Razlan, “and for the next five years, till 2021, our programmes will remain relevant to help support MotoGP.” Razlan said the strategy is to always have a Malaysian rider in each category.

“This includes MotoGP, in which we are currently working hard to place a Malaysian rider as early as next year,” he said. Razlan continued by saying that the local motorcycle racing scene currently lacks an intermediate layer for riders to step up from the Asia Talent Cup to CEV championship as a springboard to the Moto2 and Moto3 categories.

Banking on MotoGP as the biggest event in the SIC calendar, and a track occupancy of 90% every year, Razlan said SIC is looking to aggressively implement its masterplan. Razlan hoped that this would close the gap between the loss of Formula 1 revenue and create alternate sources of income.

Included in the masterplan is a proposal to build a driving and safety facility at the go-kart track next year, where the public can learn advanced driving techniques in simulated emergency situations. “Going forward, we are looking at other attractions, motorsports related, to bring in the attendance figures,” said Razlan.