SIC plans to educate, not punish, drag racing community after SOP violation


SEPANG – The Sepang International Circuit (SIC) does not intend to punish the whole drag racing community over the 2021 MUSC SIC Sepang Drag Cars Test & Tune fiasco recently.

SIC chief executive officer Azhan Shafriman Hanif said the drag racing community, as part of the motorsports family, needed to be educated on the compliance of the COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) to avoid making the same mistakes.

“So, we are working together with the organiser to raise awareness among the drag community. What needs to be done is basically to have more engagement with them so that they understand the enforcement of all the SOPs that have been put in place is for the safety of everyone.

“The SOP is the same if one were to go to a mall, mosque or church, like wearing face masks and adopting social distancing… it’s not going to differ much. I am pretty sure the drag community will accept this as one of the improvements for the future,” he told Bernama.

MUSC Motorsports failed to ensure the participants adhered to the SOPs, which then led to chaos as the organisers had to stop the race several times before police were called in to control the situation. The organiser was compounded RM20,000 for breaching the SOP.

Last week, the Youth and Sports Ministry (KBS) ordered the SIC to temporarily suspend all drag racing events while MUSC Motorsports was not allowed to organise any drag racing events until approval is given by the ministry and relevant authorities.

To avoid a repeat of such incidents, Azhan said the SIC, as venue provider, would work closely with event organisers to ensure SOPs are observed at all times to curb the spread of COVID-19.

“We do not want this to be a hindrance to other motorsports events. So, the lesson here is that enforcement should be stepped up to avoid a recurrence,” he said, adding that the SIC was spacious enough to accommodate a high number of visitors, provided everyone adhered to the stipulated SOPs.

Meanwhile, Azhan said that after taking a big hit on revenue last year due to the pandemic, the SIC hopes to make up for that as “the track is booked for almost every weekend until the end of this year” unless, of course, the pandemic throws the spanner in the works again.

Among the activities lined up at the SIC this year, provided approval is given to mas sports events, include at least three more rounds of the Malaysian Cub Prix Championships, Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) in June, as well as non-motorsports events like cycling and running.

More interestingly, the track is also open for pre-wedding and Instagram-worthy wedding photography, including on the rooftop, besides the usual motorsports-related shoots.