The Malaysia Speed Festival (MSF) Racing Series’ partnership with TOC Automotive College was first established in 2018, and since then, around 200 students have been given an opportunity to be involved in the local motorsport industry via the MSF-TOC Apprenticeship Programme that adds on as an elective to TOC’s existing diploma and certificate courses.

The programme, which has been running throughout 2018 and 2019, aims to provide students with additional classes that educate them on team building, racing event management, advanced driving skills and racing regulations.

Selected students would then join the MSF race organising team for each round, providing them the opportunity to experience a variety of roles – scrutineering, timekeeping, secretariat, race control and many more – with each one being monitored by post chiefs. Through these efforts, each student’s strengths, skills and specialisation can be identified and sharpened further.

For 2020, the programme is split between two stages, with Stage 1 focused on classroom and theory lessons that include vehicle and event safety, event management, rules and regulations, suspension and engine building theories, as well as race team management. They will also go through a karting course at the end where they will learn basic racecraft in a controlled environment.

“We aim to provide the students with a more holistic learning experience so they can understand the bigger picture at play. By placing them in a simulated dogfighting environment through karting, they can then place themselves in the driver’s shoes to know what needs to be done when necessary,” said Reza from MSF.

Meanwhile, Stage 2 is an expansion of the programme, introducing practical elements that will have students prepare a race-spec Saga, which will then be raced in MSF’s Saga Cup category during Round 2 on June 28, 2020. Called “Project Saga Cup Race Car,” Stage 2 will see 24 students run their own racing team – named NLB Racing Dynamics – under the supervision of experienced instructors.

With the second stage of the programme, students will put the theories learned from previous years into practice, with new skills like vehicle body preparation, chassis and suspension tuning, along with budget and costing. The team have been given a total budget of RM8,000 to work with during this stage, which will need to include the purchase of the car, necessary parts and materials, as well as race car preparation and testing costs.

This is a very tight budget and will necessitate the usage of their own vehicle preparation skills to achieve this. During the course they will also undergo a more advanced vehicle dynamic skills workshop which will cover advanced activities such as skid control, braking and turning, and scandinavian flick.

“A good motorsports technician needs to have some understanding of performance driving in order to prepare and set up a well-balanced, good performing race car,” said Adian Yein, principal of MSF. “We see the excitement in the students, so let’s keep that fire alive and guide them as we should. We pass down our knowledge and experiences to them so they too can keep the ball rolling in the future,” he added.