SEPANG Circuit has been given a minor facelift ahead of this weekend’s Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix.
Sepang International Circuit (SIC) have spent roughly RM30 million to replace the ageing roofing, which covers 1.8 kilometres of grandstand seating, refurbish the toilets in public and paddock areas and improve drainage around spectator areas, among others.
SIC chief executive officer Datuk Razlan Razali said it was done as many of the facilities were not repaired or refurbished since 1999.
‘We have replaced the grandstand roof after 20 years. The iconic Sepang waterfall (leaking) is no more and fans will now be well protected from the rain,’ said Razlan in Sepang yesterday.
‘We have also renovated the public toilets in the grandstand and paddock areas. It will provide a more comfortable experience for the spectators as well as the teams and officials who will start coming in from tomorrow (today).
‘The renovation work, especially the main grandstand and toilets, started early this year. We spent roughly RM20 million for the roof refurbishment and another RM9 million for the toilets.
‘The funds were available thanks to the savings we made after ending our F1 contract.’
Razlan added the heavy rainfall in recent weeks made it challenging for the organisers to prepare for the race but stressed that they are ready for any possibilities, including a last-minute change in race schedule due to weather.
‘We are 90 per cent ready to host the Malaysian GP. We are now placing the finishing touches. The weather has made it challenging, but we are working round-the-clock to be ready for the event,’ said Razlan.
‘We are monitoring the rain situation every day and will work together with Dorna (MotoGP rights holder).
They (Dorna) will make the decision should any changes be necessary.
The Sunday race scheduled for last year was brought forward by a few hours due to the heavy rain which had occurred in the days leading up to race day.
Razlan disclosed that about 80,000 tickets have been snapped up. SIC are confident of selling more than 100,000 tickets by Sunday.
A total of 103,000 spectators, a new record, watched the race last year despite the last-minute change in schedule.