Malaysia Speed Festival (MSF) – 2021 events, updates

Malaysia Speed Festival (MSF) – 2021 events, updates

The year 2020 was one of previously unknown hardship and ordeals, with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic felt not just in Malaysia but around the globe. It was a year in which Malaysia Speed Festival (MSF) confronted the challenges head-on.

Unfortunately, the much-awaited brand new MSF Touge Hillclimb event series was unable to get off the ground, initially due to local council permit issues for Round 1 at Janda Baik, and when the pandemic hit, there was a long wait-and-see period for which we were unable to mobilise.

Elsewhere, MSF SuperBikes, which was entering its third successful year and saw Ducati Owners Club Malaysia (DOCM) taking a slot with a full quota of Ducati owner-racers, was left stuck at the start line grid with the “one-minute to go” board showing.

However, with creative innovation, we managed to keep the racing fever burning when everyone was stuck at home during the darkest of times that was the movement control order (MCO). This was accomplished via our new e-racing series, MSF CyberTurismo, which ran over eight months and across 82 episodes, with over 240 virtual race starts on Gran Turismo Sport.

The virtual series, which was aired on Astro Arena HD, ably showcased the fun, fever, and family of what is ‘The MSF Way’, and saw many making new friends through the online racing arena.

We cooperated and successfully fired up the nation’s interest in national-level saloon car racing when MSF partnered with Sepang Circuit’s (SIC) own Malaysia Championship Series (MCS) event, packing in a weekend that was one of the biggest in the Malaysian annual motorsports calendar. There were over 337,000 online broadcast views in total, and over 50,000 viewers on the Merdeka Race highlights programmes aired on Astro Arena the following week.

The success of last year’s Merdeka Race tie-up has benefitted national saloon car motor racing, opening the doors to cooperation between MSF and SIC to collaborate on a long-term goal of creating a structured Driver Development ladder for the growth of the national saloon car motorsports industry.

This will be a year of change, adaptation and expansion, where we will continue to build MSF into a renowned motorsports festival series. Our flagship MSF Racing will evolve into two-day weekend events, and we will be working closely with SIC and combining with MCS on a number of races to create bigger, more exciting, and more engaging national-level motor racing festivals.

Each race weekend will be feature a different race format creating a different challenge each round. The Merdeka Race will grow into a big carnival, and the Sepang 1000 km weekend will be linked to become the season-ending climax Finale event for the year.

As for MSF SuperTurismo, it will be cohesively restructured with MCS to bring more value and establish the national saloon car racing driver development structure. It will be the same, but enhanced for all.

Street categories will remain as they are, providing the link to street-level racing teams, but the Ultimate categories will amalgamate with the MCS categories, which as a whole will evolve and link with regulations of similar and relevant racing series around the region. The Ultimate Open will continue to be the ultimate tuner-level race, featuring the most monstrous of tuned and modified race cars in the country.

Meanwhile, MSF SuperBikes will feature during the Merdeka Race and Finale, and we’re looking forward to two-wheeled racers going elbow-to-elbow as they get back on to the circuit after not being able to battle it out in 2020. MSF hopes that DOCM will continue to have faith in our activities, and we’re looking forward to these powerful, exclusive red beauties fire it up and fight it out to be the MSF DesmoCup Champion.

The new X Street Mania, featuring MSF SuperMoto and Drifting as well as MSF Touge will run in 2021. These are eagerly awaited series which will expand the MSF ethos to new geographical locations and venues around the country. MSF will be brought closer to the fans, and will venture to venues north, south, and east of the country, hitting the twisty, winding roads of the best Malaysian hills. This is the extreme-side of motorsports, and we are looking forward to get these events up and roaring.

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Lastly, it is about adapting. The “new normal” means that people will be less mobile and travel less – MSF is looking to bring the festival to their homes through live broadcasting of all events on social media, with event highlights being shown on Astro Arena HD.

Planning for 2021 has been difficult given the circumstances, but MSF is looking forward to a better second half of the year, where we expect that motorsports should be able to get going from late Q2 onward.

As shown in the photos in this story, we have a full calendar of dates planned, but with the recent rise in daily infection rates and MCO 2.0, we are now looking to commence competition racing activities after Hari Raya Puasa. We’re counting down the days to when we’ll be revving it up and going wheel-to-wheel again. In the meantime, stay safe.

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Adian Yein Khalid

Adian was one of the start-up members that initiated the Proton Motorsports Division (R3) back in 2003. He has over 20 years of motorsports experience, culminating in two back-to-back wins of the Merdeka Millennium Endurance. He’s currently a professional driving instructor, and a co-host of the Driven Web Series. He has recently found joy door-to-door racing again at MSF!


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