ATCC: Sepang: Rounds three and four preview

2002 Proton National Championship Rd 3 & 4 Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia Increased attention has been given to the scrutineering process in this year's Proton Satria Gti and Proton Production Car Championships to ensure that fair play...

2002 Proton National Championship Rd 3 & 4
Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia

Increased attention has been given to the scrutineering process in this year's Proton Satria Gti and Proton Production Car Championships to ensure that fair play dictates the results, and that the level of safety for competitors does not become compromised."We have become more strict in ensuring that every competitor abide by the technical regulations as far as car preparation is concerned," said Motorsport Asia (M) Sdn Bhd CEO David Sonenscher.

"Preparation of the car has to follow the regulations prescribed by the International Automobile Federation (FIA)."

Promoted by Motorsport Asia (M) Sdn Bhd and KKW, the 12-round championship being organised for the second year running, is sanctioned by the Automobile Federation of Malaysia (AAM) and Proton Edar being presenting sponsor. Rounds three and four will be held this weekend in conjunction with the Malaysian round of the TM Touch Japan GT Championship at the Sepang International Circuit.

In addition to the battalion of scrutineers employed by the championship, sponsors Kayaba and Proton have also come on board to lend their technical expertise in terms of making sure the standardised components used by the competitors are not tampered with.

Competitors for both championships this season are only allowed to use specially- designed race suspension system supplied by Kayaba.

"The competitors are not allowed to meddle with the suspension, that includes tampering with the shock absorber and springs, aside from trying to get the best set-up of the vehicle from the existing settings.

"If there is a need, or if the Kayaba engineers suspect something amiss, a competitor will be asked to remove the suspension for a thorough examination and those found to have tampered with the original settings will be dealt with seriously."And to ensure that there is no tampering of the car's original on-board computer or electronic control unit (ECU), Sonenscher said these units are assigned to competitors by way of balloting before the race.

"We want to eliminate all possibilities. So far, since the championship was introduced last year, everyone has been playing to the rules and regulations and we want to keep it that way."

Unlike the first year where the choice of suspension was free, Motorsport Asia decided on standardising the equipment to ensure that money does not stand in the way of a competitor winning on merit. Besides suspension and ECU, competitors also race on controlled tyres that are limited to a race meet supplied by Sime Tyres, and must use unleaded fuel.

"It would be meaningless if the championship was to the advantage of competitors with the best equipment money can buy. Our objective is to have an affordable series, a championship that is of level playing field."

Commenting on the level and standard of preparation by the local competitors and teams, Sonenscher said both the degree of quality and professionalism has improved tremendously.

"If only five per cent of the grid were truly FIA-compliant last season, it's 100 per cent this year. The local drivers and teams have put in genuine effort to make sure their vehicles are up to the required preparation and safety standards and this is something encouraging and to be /proud of.

"Safety, above anything else, has always been a primary issue in motor-racing and to see that the competitors have matured in this area is a big step in the right direction for Malaysian motorsports."

-afos-

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