Asian Festival Of Speed preview

AFOS Ready to Heat Up Sepang Circuit The Asian Festival Of Speed is back and is making its way to Sepang International Circuit on 30-31 May 2009. The Asian Festival Of Speed (AFOS) event will once again start its season in Malaysia and...

AFOS Ready to Heat Up Sepang Circuit

The Asian Festival Of Speed is back and is making its way to Sepang International Circuit on 30-31 May 2009.

The Asian Festival Of Speed (AFOS) event will once again start its season in Malaysia and this time with five powerful FIA-Sanctioned race series; GT3 Asia, Formula V6 Asia, Asian Touring Car Series, Formula BMW Pacific and the Asian Touring Car-Max making its stop here.

Racing fans will be able to witness some of the fastest road cars in the world at the Sepang Circuit when the GT3 Asia drivers line up in one of the most expensive grids of Supercars ever seen in Asia.

The Series, which was established by the Supercar Club Hong Kong as the Asia Supercar Challenge in 2003, signed a partnership with Motorsport Asia last year to bring professional organisation and gain a wider audience around Asia and the world.

This year, no less than twenty-nine cars have signed up for the season with drivers from Canada, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore all ready to compete in yet another action filled race weekend.

Spectators will get a chance to see a fleet of Lamborghini Gallardo GT3's, Porsche 997 GT3 Cup cars, including the limited edition Cup S, Ferrari F430 GT3's, Ferrari 360 Challenge, Porsche 996 GT3 Cup, the Aston Martin DBRS9 as well as the Ginetta G50 GT3.

2009 is only the fourth year for the Formula V6 Asia and it is already firmly established as the bridge between the Junior Formulae and the highest levels of single seater racing such as GP2, A1GP and ultimately Formula 1.

The Series has seen drivers such as Indian, Karun Chandhok, who after winning the championship in its inaugural season, was launched to great success in GP2, whilst at the same time, landing a testing role with the Red Bull Formula 1 Team.

In 2007, the series was won at the last race by Briton, James Winslow after a season long battle against Indian hopeful, Armaan Ebrahim. Winslow has gone on to claim the Australian Formula 3 crown and is now competing in Indy cars.

Last year, Thailand driver James Grunwell claimed the Championship win after beating fierce rival and up and coming superstar New Zealander, Earl Bamber who finished the season early due to his commitments in A1GP and GP2 Asia.

Other notable drivers have progressed their careers through Formula V6 Asia such as Hiroshi Yoshimoto (Formula Nippon), Adderly Fong (German F3), Matt Halliday (Porsche Supercup), Satrio Hermanto (A1GP), Marchy Lee (Speedcar) and many others.

Throughout the years, the Asian Touring Car Series has captured the interest of racing fans through the visual similarities between the race cars and their road going counterparts. This association translates into bigger sales for the manufacturers, which in part explains the presence of the biggest names in the auto industry in this type of racing, as witnessed in the World Touring Car Championship, which regulations the ATCS follows closely.

This year, the regulations have been altered to create even closer battles among competitors. There will be no more Divisions within the series and all cars will follow the FIA Super Production regulations, which means cars eligible are two-wheel drive cars with normally-aspirated engines with a maximum capacity of 2000cc with limited bodywork modifications in order to preserve the familiar original look of the car.

Launched in 2003, Formula BMW Pacific (formerly Asia) rapidly established itself as the Number One choice for fledgling racing talent and to reflect its rapidly growing geographical influence, it was re-named Formula BMW Pacific from the start of this season.

Through the Formula BMW Pacific Series talented young drivers are able to showcase their abilities to a wide group of motorsport enthusiasts. The series represents a great leap forward in the search for, and in the development of, Asian racing talents to become future world champions.

Formula BMW Pacific features an ultra-modern standard specification race car and a comprehensive training and intensive support programme for drivers. The Series allows drivers as young as 15 to test their talent and develop their skills. The series features a line-up of drivers from all corners of the world, including Asia-Pacific, Europe and Africa.

The Asian Touring Car-Max (formerly known as ATCS 1500Max Challenge) has grown to be one of the most exciting championships to be introduced to the racing scene in Asia in recent times. The fast paced, bumper to bumper races feature some of the best up 'n' coming stars in the touring car scene from around the region.

ATC-MAX is a competition for Normally Aspirated cars below 1599cc, such as the Honda Jazz, Peugeot 207, Toyota Vios, Proton Neo and Saga, Suzuki Swift and many others that are seen on the roads today. All cars must have a maximum output of 130bhp at the wheels and have an identical base weight.

The races are action packed and have attracted a new group of young drivers looking for a future in Touring car racing. ATC-MAX offers a platform for drivers who have been competing in National One make races or local Touring Car Championships and even the drag and drift competitions seen locally.

As it is each year, side events are a big part of the Asian Festival Of Speed and 2009 will be no exception, with many great things planned for the grandstand area as well as the paddock area. The races will remain the main activity but for the fans that usually bring their families along, they will be able to enjoy the various other activities planned for the day.

One of the main side attractions is the display at the Grandstand by the Car Clubs from around Malaysia. Last year close to 1,000 cars turned out to attend and display their cars despite the heavy early morning downpour. This year as a boost, participating members will be given a special 'Rooftop Access' to fully enjoy a different view of the race and allowed access to the paddock hospitality.

The Paddock area will also be filled with activity coming from the Motorsport Association Malaysia sanctioned events, the Rally X and the Autocross. There will be five rally prepared cars taking interested spectators on ride-a-long in the course prepared while 80 cars from GRA are expected to compete in the an Autokhana style Autocross event.

There will also be a group of local up-and-coming DJ's being invited to play at the event, to keep the party going and dancers to keep the fans entertained while at the grandstand. Stall areas for F&B, car displays and merchandise will be set up at the grandstand to add to the atmosphere.

Many other side events are planned for the season opener of the Asian Festival Of Speed, which will be announced once they are confirmed.

The Asian Festival Of Speed will be held at the Sepang International Circuit on 30-31 May 2009 and this year, the organizers have decided to open the gates free for everyone to enjoy.

-credit: afos.com

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About this article
Series Formula BMW , Other open wheel , Road racing
Drivers Karun Chandhok , Armaan Ebrahim , James Winslow , James Grunwell , Satrio Hermanto , Marchy Lee , Earl Bamber , Adderly Fong , Matt Halliday