With the Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix now absent from Malaysia’s motorsport calendar, Sepang International Circuit (SIC) is preparing a variety of programmes and initiatives to replace it. This includes developing local talent in several racing disciplines.

SIC CEO Datuk Razlan Razali, said in a report by Bernama that other forms of four-wheel motor racing are needed to fill the void left by F1, and they should not only be well supported by motorsport fans but also provide returns to the country.

“We need races that have an impact on the economy. Before organising these races, we should raise awareness and interest in the races among local motorsport fans. It’s meaningless if the races attract more foreign audiences compared to local fans,” said Razlan during a press conference after announcing SIC’s 2018 programme for local talents in two- and four-wheel motorsports.

Among those in attendance include Jazeman Jaafar, Afiq Ikhwan Yazid, Weiron Tan and Nabil Jeffri, who will compete in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and 24 Hours of Le Mans. Meanwhile, Mitchell Cheah will be a part of the 2018 TCR Asia Series.

As for those competing on two wheels, there’s Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah (MotoGP), Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Moto2) and Adam Norrodin (Moto3). Participants in SIC’s talent searching programme ‘Impian ke MotoGP’, Danial El Fahim, Muhammad Hrith Hazziq, Muhammad Izam Ikmal, Mohd Daniel Syahmi and Muhammad Idil Fitri were also present at the event.

“SIC just signed an agreement with a good and formidable team, Jackie Chan DC Racing X Jota, this year. All Malaysian racers will continue to compete with this team after making their debut at the end of the 2017-2018 season, and will compete in the prestigious Super Series WEC 2018/19, which includes two Le Mans 24 Hours races beginning this July,” Razlan said.

The Jackie Chan DC Racing team was founded in 2015, and is co-owned by Asian Le Mans champion David Cheng and actor Jackie Chan. The team found success in last year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, coming in first in the LMP2 category, as well as in the Asian Le Mans Series 2017-18 season. “Besides having a good team, skilled engineers are also necessary to assist in technical matters, plus the presence of Jackie Chan himself can help promote the races,” noted Razlan.

Previously, SIC had considered hosting the Australia Supercars Championship (also known as V8 Supercars), with a potential race said to take place somewhere between the April and June this year. The idea was pitched after an exhibition race at the inaugural KL City Grand Prix. So, what races do you think would be a good addition to the local motorsports calendar?