Stamping his domination in the 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) round at Sepang Internation Circuit is Norbert Michelisz from BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse with top finishes in both qualifying rounds. Driving a Hyundai i30 N TCR Michelisz set a best time of 2:13.141, edging out Esteban Guerrieri of ALL-INKL Munninch Motorsport driving a Honda Civic Type R TCR who came in 0.786 seconds behind.

Michelisz who comes from Hungary currently has a 15 point lead in the WTCR drivers standings with an overall 316 points after nine races. However, the WTCR is still up for grabs, with three other drivers having a chance of grabbing the title, depending on the outcome of the first and second races.

While the mathematical possibilities for the championship win are almost endless, other contenders for the 2019 WTRC title include Guerrieri with 307 points as well as Yvan Muller of France driving for Cyan Racing Lynk & Co with 305 points and Thed Bjork with 288 points, also driving for Lynk & Co.

The first running of WTCR in Sepang sees Malaysian Mitchell Cheah in the race as a wildcard, scoring 28th position driving for Hyundai Tema Engstler in Hyundai i30 N TCR. Cheah currently competes in the ADAC Touring Car Championship in Germany.

Malaysian motorcycle racer Hafizh Syahrin who recently left the championship series after relinquishing his spot with Red Bull KTM MotoGP, is also entered as a wildcard, doing a double header in the 2019 Endurance World Championship (EWC) 8-Hour motorcycle race with Yamaha Sepang Racing. In his first time driving a full-on race car, Hafizh sits one position behind team mate Cheah, driving a Hyundai i30 N TCR while another Malaysian competing in the Sepang round of WTCR is Douglas Khoo of Viper Niza Racing in a Cupra TCR.

In an interview with, Francois Ribiero, head of Eurosport Events, said the main philosophy behind both WTCR and EWC is approachability to the fans. “In no other FIA or FIM race series can fans get the opportunity to come this close to the racers and the cars and bikes.”

“We are a big family here in WTCR and EWC and the fans are a part of the family,” said Ribiero. “Certainly, we hope to see some close racing this weekend at Sepang and with the (WTCR) drivers championship still open, anything can happen,” he said.

Adding to this, SIC chief executive officer Datuk Razlan Razali said a three-year contract has been signed with WTCR and EWC to hold double-header races in Sepang. “The main advantage we have in Sepang is we have a track that is top-ranked with both FIA and FIM, the governing bodies for four-wheel and two-wheel racing, plus night racing. This allows us to hold events that cater to viewers in any time zone in the world plus accessibility to local race fans,” said Razlan.