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(From left), Malaysia Speed Festival founder Adian Yein, Goldenport Enterprise founder and chairman Jim Ye, Country Heights chairman Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew, Country Heights executive director Matahari Lee, Motonation Chief Executive Nazrul Zahri speak to press during the Asia GT Festival press conference in Seri Kembangan. - NSTP/ROSELA ISMAIL

SERI KEMBANGAN: With its flagship F1 event having disappeared down memory lane, Sepang Circuit will feature a new international car race next year - the Asia GT Festival on March 15-17.

The Asia GT is an expansion of the China GT Championship, which has decided to go international. And the event at Sepang is the only round of the series to be held outside of China, so far.

It will see racers competing in the GT3 and GT4 classes with the event supported by Malaysian racers in the highly popular Malaysia Speed Festival (MSF).

The total prize money for next year’s Asia GT Festival, a joint initiative by Country Heights and Goldenport Enterprise of China is RM5.45 million.

The inaugural event is expected to be followed by a five-year agreement between the two parties.

Country Heights chairman Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew said the event, which will be held in a family-friendly festival atmosphere, will help fill the void left by Formula One in Malaysia.

“GT racing in Sepang will actually be more interesting than Formula One, in which the cars are all very similar,” said Kim Yew, during the launch

in Seri Kembangan today.

“I believe this will be a crowd pulling event, even in the first year. The attraction is not just on track but also due to the side events we will be having."

Country Heights executive director Matahari Lee said the event will help open more eyes to the various types of racing in motorsports.

“Through this Asia GT Festival, we want to expose Malaysians to a different kind of four-wheel motorsport racing while providing aspiring Malaysian racers with the opportunity to be part of an internationally renowned racing event,” said Matahari.

“There will be plenty of side activities as it will be a motorsport festival. These include displays by automotive brands and car clubs, food trucks and also racing simulators, so it is not just about those interested about the race but is also suitable for the whole family."

The organisers are expecting at least 10,000 spectators to attend the festival over the three days.

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