PETALING JAYA: The Sepang International Circuit (SIC) is in discussions with Supercars to secure a round on the 2018 championship calendar, motor racing website speedcafe.com reported.
The Australia Supercars Championship is also known as V8 Supercars.
Speedcafe.com said SIC is trying to woo Australia’s premier series following the government’s decision to stop hosting the Formula 1 (F1) grand prix in Sepang from next year, due to dwindling interest and rising costs.
The website reported that Supercars had originally worked out a four-year deal to headline the KL City Grand Prix.
However, a legal wrangle between promoters forced its cancellation after the inaugural event, which featured a five-car Supercars demonstration in 2015.
SIC CEO Razlan Razali met with Supercars boss James Warburton last week to discuss a bid to host Supercars. The discussions will continue later this month.
Built in 1999, Sepang has played host to top-level motorsport events, including Formula 1 and MotoGP.
Razlan is keen to strike a deal with Supercars but says the arrangement must be beneficial for both the series and the venue.
Supercars is expected to learn if its bid has been successful by July, the website reported.
“Personally, I am a big fan of V8 Supercars,” Razlan told Speedcafe.com.
“I would like to see them at the Sepang track but we have got to make sure it is a win-win for both parties.
“Sepang circuit will not become a white elephant. We do not exist just for Formula 1.
“This is an opportunity for us to look at other events and we are already talking to other promoters.
“Supercars will make for a great show and great television.”
According to supercars.com, Razlan said the Sepang circuit is a huge facility with 100,000 people capacity.
“I think no doubt, with the Supercars, Aussies will continue to come and watch in Sepang.
“But what’s important is that we must have a programme to have awareness for Malaysians so that 60% of the capacity will be Malaysians themselves.
“What we’re discussing is potentially a car with Malaysian drivers.
“We have ex-F1 drivers, ex-F1 test drivers, young drivers who could represent Malaysia in V8s. That would be exciting.
“I think it would make it one of the most fascinating races for the V8 calendar. Traditionally, they’re on smaller circuits in Australia.
“We are fine to accommodate them in any time period they wish. It’s just the logistics that we have to work out.”
Razlan told supercars.com he believed the racing category would resonate with local supporters in a country that has hosted F1 since 1999.
“It’s a new race for Malaysians. The size of the cars, the look of the cars are completely different from GT cars, like Lamborghini and Ferrari.
“They’re massive, they’re loud, there’s fire coming out from the exhaust.
“I think it’s a real spectacle and it’s important that both do it right the first time to have a multi-year agreement in place.
“I think the real challenge for racing in Malaysia is the heat and rain. But that also creates a whole bunch of excitement. It’s unpredictable.
“It can be really hot in the first half and wet in the second half.”