Hafizh Syahrin to explore new adventure

Hafizh (centre) wants to challenge himself on four wheels. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian MotoGP rider Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah is challenging himself by embarking on a new adventure, competing in the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), to be held at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) from Dec 13 to 15.

Inspired by Italian great Valentino Rossi, the 25-year-old rider said he also wanted to try something new.

Rossi had competed in the Rally New Zealand, a WRC event in 2006.

Besides being involved in the day and night car racing event on Dec 15, Hafizh Syahrin would also be competing in the eight-hour FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC), to be held on the day before.

“WTCR is a very famous race in Europe and the first time to be brought to Asia, and at the same time EWC (FIM Endurance World Championship) would be held in Sepang for the first time. There are both happening on the same week.

“Initially I said I wanted to compete in the motorcycle race, but Razlan (SIC chief executive officer Razlan Razali) asked me to compete in the car race. I asked whether I could compete in both races.

“And suddenly today Razlan and I decided to participate in both the EWC and WTCR,” he told reporters after the product screening and official launch of the FIM EWC and FIA WTCR here, today.

The two world championship events were launched by the Culture, Arts and Tourism Minister Mohamaddin Ketapi.

As these would be his first experience in a car racing event, the Red Bull KTM Tech 3 rider said that he would not expect much but to put more effort to learn about the machine that he would be driving during the 21-lap race.

Other Malaysian drivers competing in the FIA WTCR race are Mitchell Cheah and Douglas Khoo.

The FIA WTCR is the highest class of competition for touring cars and the Malaysian round will be the grand finale of the 10 global rounds this season.

The race will see 26 full season entries with eight different car manufacturers.

While the FIM EWC is the premier worldwide endurance motorcycle racing championship and the Sepang round named the Eight Hours of Sepang will also be the qualifying round to the legendary Suzuka Eight Hours in 2020.

Both races will take place until sunset and the chequered flag will be waived under the new SIC Circuit Lights.