Sepang International Circuit

Sepang International Circuit (Malay: Litar Antarabangsa Sepang) (known as Petronas Sepang International Circuit for commercial reasons), is a motorsport race track in Sepang, Selangor, Malaysia. It is located approximately 45 km (28 mi) south of Kuala Lumpur, and close to Kuala Lumpur International Airport. It hosted the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix between 1999 and 2017, and is also the venue for the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix, the Malaysia Merdeka Endurance Race and other major motorsport events. Previously known as the Sepang F1 Circuit, it was renamed to the Sepang International Circuit. On 31 October 2023, it was announced that Petronas has acquired the naming rights to the circuit for three years in an undisclosed fee.[1]

Petronas Sepang International Circuit

LocationSepang, Selangor, Malaysia
Time zoneUTC+08:00
Coordinates2°45′38″N 101°44′15″E / 2.76056°N 101.73750°E / 2.76056; 101.73750
Capacity130,000
FIA Grade1 (GP)
2 (North)
Broke ground1 November 1997; 26 years ago (1997-11-01)
Opened7 March 1999; 25 years ago (1999-03-07)
ArchitectHermann Tilke
Former namesSepang International Circuit (March 1999–October 2023)
Major eventsCurrent:
Grand Prix motorcycle racing
Malaysian motorcycle Grand Prix
(1999–2019, 2022–present)
GT World Challenge Asia
(2017–2019, 2022–present)
TCR Asia Series (2015–2019, 2024)
Sepang 12 Hours (2000–2016, 2023–present)
Asia Road Racing Championship (2003–2015, 2019–2020, 2022–present)
Former:
Formula One
Malaysian Grand Prix
(1999–2017)
Asian Le Mans Series (2013–2020, 2023)
WTCR Race of Malaysia (2019)
World SBK (2014–2016)
FIM EWC (2019)
Super GT (2002, 2004–2013)
Websitehttps://www.sepangcircuit.com/home
Grand Prix Circuit (1999–present)
Length5.543 km (3.445 miles)
Turns15
Race lap record1:34.080 (Germany Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, 2017)
North Circuit (1999–present)
Length2.706 km (1.681 miles)
Turns9
South Circuit (1999–present)
Length2.609 km (1.621 miles)
Turns8
Sepang International Circuit Sdn Bhd
Company typeGovernment-linked company
Founded1997; 27 years ago (1997)
HeadquartersJalan Pekeliling, 64000 Sepang, Selangor, Malaysia
Key people
Mohamed Azman Yahya, Chairman
Azhan Shafriman Hanif, Chief Executive Officer
ParentMinister of Finance Incorporated
Websitewww.sepangcircuit.com

History edit

 
Sepang International Circuit grandstand, and its iconic umbrella shade.

The circuit was designed by German designer Hermann Tilke, who would subsequently design circuits including in Shanghai, Sakhir, Istanbul, Marina Bay and Yas Marina. As part of a series of major infrastructure projects in the 1990s under Mahathir Mohamad's government, the Sepang International Circuit was constructed between 1997 and 1999 close to Putrajaya, the then-newly founded administrative capital of the country, with the intent of hosting the Malaysian Grand Prix. The Malaysian climate means the circuit is known for its unpredictable humid tropical weather, varying from clear furnace-hot days to tropical rain-storms.

 
Petronas sponsored the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix as the title sponsor since its inaugural race in 1999.

The circuit was officially inaugurated by the 4th Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir Mohamad on 7 March 1999 at 20:30 MST (UTC+08:00).[2] He subsequently went on to inaugurate the first Moto GP Malaysian Grand Prix on 20 April 1999 (see 1999 Malaysian motorcycle Grand Prix) and the first Formula One Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix on 17 October 1999 (see 1999 Malaysian Grand Prix).

On 23 October 2011, on the second lap of the MotoGP Shell Advance Malaysian Grand Prix, the Italian motorcycle racer Marco Simoncelli died following a crash in turn 11 on Lap 2, resulting in an abandonment of the race.

The track was completely resurfaced in 2016 with the support of italian designers Dromo, with several corners reprofiled to emphasize mechanical, rather than aerodynamic grip. Notably, the final corner was raised by approximately 1 meter,[3] which officials claimed would force drivers to take a later apex and explore different racing lines through the hairpin.

In October 2016 it was rumored that the Sepang circuit may be dropped from the Formula One calendar due to dwindling ticket sales, and held its nineteenth and last World Championship Grand Prix in 2017.[4]

The race's contract was due to expire in 2018, but its future had been under threat due to rising hosting fees and declining ticket sales.

Layout edit

 
View from Mall Area, Main Grandstand North, Lower Tier.

The main circuit, normally raced in a clockwise direction, is 5.543 km (3.444 mi) long, and is noted for its sweeping corners and wide straights from 16–22 m (52–72 ft).[5] The layout is quite unusual, with a 0.927 km (0.576 mi) long back straight separated from the pit straight by just one very tight hairpin.[citation needed]

Other configurations of the Sepang circuit can also be used. The north circuit is also raced in a clockwise direction. It is basically the first half of the main circuit. The course turns back towards the pit straight after turn 6 and is 2.706 km (1.681 mi) long in total.[citation needed]

The south circuit is the other half of the racecourse. The back straight of the main circuit becomes the pit straight when the south circuit is in use, and joins onto turn 8 of the main circuit to form a hairpin turn. Also run clockwise, this circuit is 2.609 km (1.621 mi) in length.[citation needed]

Sepang International Circuit also features kart racing and motocross facilities.[citation needed]

Track configurations edit

A lap in a Formula One car edit

 
Lewis Hamilton during the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix.

Sepang starts with a long pit straight where the DRS zone exists – crucial for drivers to get a good exit out of the last corner to gain as much speed as possible. Turn 1 is a very long, slow corner taken in second gear. Most drivers brake incredibly late and lose speed gradually as they file round the corner, similar to Shanghai's first turn but slower. Turn 1 leads straight into Turn 2, a tight left hairpin which goes downhill quite significantly. The first two corners are quite bumpy, making it hard to put power onto the track.[6] Turn 3 is a long flat out right hander which leads into Turn 4 – known locally as the Langkawi Curve[7] – a second gear, right-angle right-hander. Turns 5 and 6 make up an incredibly high-speed, long chicane that hurts tyres and puts a lot of stress on drivers due to high G-Force. It is locally known as the Genting Curve.[7] Turns 7 and 8 (the KLIA curve) make up a long, medium-speed, double-apex right hander, and a bump can cause the car to lose balance here.[6] Turn 9 is a very slow left-hand hairpin (the Berjaya Tioman Corner[7]), similar to turn two but uphill. Turn 10 leads into a challenging, medium-speed right hander at turn 11, requiring braking and turning simultaneously. Turn 12 is a flat-out, bumpy left which immediately leads into the flat right at turn 13, then the challenging 'Sunway Lagoon'[7] curve at turn 14. Similar to turn 11, it requires hard-braking and steering at the same time. It is taken in second gear. The long back straight can be a good place for drivers to overtake as they brake hard into turn 15, a left-handed, second-geared hairpin but drivers are advised by experts to be careful not to get re-overtaken as they come into turn 1.

Events edit

Current
Former

Lap records edit

The official lap record for the Sepang International Circuit is 1:34.080, set by Sebastian Vettel during the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix. As of March 2024, the fastest official race lap records at the Sepang International Circuit are listed as:[8]

Category Time Driver Vehicle Event
Grand Prix Circuit (1999–present): 5.543 km
Formula One 1:34.080[8] Sebastian Vettel Ferrari SF70H 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix
GP2 1:45.066[8] Sergio Canamasas Dallara GP2/11 2016 Sepang GP2 Series round
GP2 Asia 1:46.405 Romain Grosjean Dallara GP2/05 2008 Malaysian GP2 Asia Series round
A1GP 1:48.550[8] Neel Jani A1GP Powered by Ferrari car 2008–09 A1 Grand Prix of Nations, Malaysia
GP3 1:51.520[8] Antonio Fuoco Dallara GP3/16 2016 Sepang GP3 Series round
LMP2 1:52.991[9] Louis Delétraz Oreca 07 2023 4 Hours of Sepang
Super GT (GT500) 1:57.031[8][10] Michael Krumm Nissan GT-R GT500 2008 Super GT International Series Malaysia
MotoGP 1:58.979 Álex Márquez Ducati Desmosedici GP22 2023 Malaysian motorcycle Grand Prix
Formula Renault 3.5 1:59.153[8] James Grunwell Tatuus FRV6 2008 Sepang Formula V6 Asia round
LMP3 2:00.525[8][11] Josh Burdon Ligier JS P3 2018 4 Hours of Sepang
Formula Regional 2:01.151[8][12] Yifei Ye Tatuus F.3 T-318 2019–20 2nd Sepang F3 Asia Winter Series Round
World SBK 2:03.637[13] Tom Sykes Kawasaki ZX-10R 2016 Sepang World SBK round
GT3 2:03.659[14] Christopher Haase Audi R8 LMS GT3 EVO II[15] 2024 Sepang 12 Hours
Formula Renault 2.0 2:03.747[16] Bruno Carneiro Tatuus FR2.0/13 2019 1st Sepang Asian Formula Renault round
Lamborghini Super Trofeo 2:04.695[8][17] Afiq Ikhwan Yazid Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo 2017 Sepang Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia round
Formula Masters China 2:05.765[18] Taylor Cockerton Tatuus FA010 2017 1st Sepang Formula Masters China round
Moto2 2:05.860 Álex Márquez Kalex Moto2 2019 Malaysian motorcycle Grand Prix
Super GT (GT300) 2:06.594[19] Kota Sasaki Subaru BRZ GT300 2013 Super GT International Series Malaysia
500cc 2:06.618 Valentino Rossi Honda NSR500 2001 Malaysian motorcycle Grand Prix
CN 2:07.113[20] Kurt Hill Ligier JS53 2017 2nd Sepang Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup round
Porsche Carrera Cup 2:07.595[8][21] Martin Ragginger [de] Porsche 911 (991 II) GT3 Cup 2019 Sepang Porsche Carrera Cup Asia round
250cc 2:07.597 Hiroshi Aoyama Honda RS250RW 2009 Malaysian motorcycle Grand Prix
Formula 4 2:08.301[22] Rashid Al Dhaheri Tatuus F4-T421 2023 2nd Sepang F4 SEA round
World SSP 2:09.178[23] Kev Coghlan Yamaha YZF-R6 2014 Sepang World SSP round
Formula Nippon 2:09.302[24] Richard Lyons Lola B03/51 2004 Sepang Formula Nippon round
Ferrari Challenge 2:09.394[8][25] Philippe Prette [de] Ferrari 488 Challenge 2017 Sepang Ferrari Challenge Asia–Pacific round
LM GTE 2:09.990[8][26] Akira Iida Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 2013 3 Hours of Sepang
Formula BMW 2:11.139[27] Richard Bradley Mygale FB02 2010 1st Sepang Formula BMW Pacific round
Stock car racing 2:12.234[28] Jean Alesi Speedcar V8 2008 Malaysian Speedcar Series round
Moto3 2:12.268 Ayumu Sasaki Husqvarna FR250GP 2023 Malaysian motorcycle Grand Prix
125cc 2:13.118 Álvaro Bautista Aprilia RS125R 2006 Malaysian motorcycle Grand Prix
Asian Formula 2000 2:14.410[29] Parthiva Sureshwaren Argo Formula Asia 2000 Sepang Asian Formula 2000 round
N-GT 2:14.461[30] Hideo Fukuyama Porsche 911 (996) GT3 R 2000 Tmtouch Japan GT Championship Malaysia
TCR Touring Car 2:16.338[8][31] Daniel Lloyd Honda Civic Type R TCR (FK8) 2020 3rd Sepang TCR Malaysia round
GT4 2:16.458[32] Seita Nonaka Toyota GR Supra GT4 Evo 2023 Sepang GT World Challenge Asia round
Asia Productions 250 2:22.443[33] Rheza Danica Ahrens Honda CBR250RR 2023 Sepang ARRC round
Super 2000 2:27.381[34] Charoensukawattana Nattavude Peugeot 306 GTi 2000 Sepang ATCC round
Asia Underbone 150 2:33.537[35] Muhammad Hildan Honda Supra GTR 150 2020 Sepang ARRC round

Fatalities edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Petronas acquires naming rights for Sepang Circuit". Malay Mail. Retrieved 31 October 2023.
  2. ^ "Sepang International Circuit - Our Story". Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  3. ^ "Take a trip around the world's toughest F1 circuit with our composite race track". Red Bull. Retrieved 1 July 2022.
  4. ^ "Malaysian Grand Prix: Sepang could leave F1 calendar over ticket sales". BBC Sport. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  5. ^ "Sepang International Circuit - Architecture". Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Sepang Track Guide". F1 Fanatic. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
  7. ^ a b c d "Sepang International Circuit". Super GT. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Sepang Fastest Lap Comparison". Archived from the original on 27 February 2023. Retrieved 4 June 2023.
  9. ^ "2023-2024 Asian Le Mans Series 4 Hours of Sepang Race 1 - Provisional Classification by Category" (PDF). 2 December 2023. Retrieved 2 December 2023.
  10. ^ "2008 Super GT International Series Malaysia". 22 June 2008. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  11. ^ "2017-2018 4 Hours of Sepang Best laptimes per driver" (PDF). 4 February 2018. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  12. ^ "2019–20 F3 Asian Championship Winter Series Round 3 Race 1 Results" (PDF). 23 February 2019. Retrieved 17 March 2021.
  13. ^ "Malaysian Round, 13-14-15 May 2016 World Superbike - Results Race 1" (PDF). World Superbike. Dorna. 14 May 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2022.
  14. ^ "2024 MOTUL 12 Hours of Sepang - Result MOTUL 12 Hours of Sepang - Final result Race" (PDF). 16 March 2024. Retrieved 17 March 2024.
  15. ^ "2024 MOTUL 12 Hours of Sepang - Statistics" (PDF). 16 March 2024. Retrieved 17 March 2024.
  16. ^ "Malaysia Championship Series 2019 - Round 4 Asian Formula Renault Final Results Race 1" (PDF). 24 August 2019. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
  17. ^ "Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia Rounds 1&2 Sepang International Circuit 7-9 April 2017 >> Race 1 - Round 1 - Sector Analysis" (PDF). 8 April 2017. Retrieved 2 January 2023.
  18. ^ "Malaysia Championship Series Round 2 - Formula Masters Series - Race 2 @ Sepang International Circuit (Malaysia)". 8 April 2017. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
  19. ^ "2013 Super GT International Series Malaysia". 16 June 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  20. ^ "ALSC Sepang 2017". 23 July 2017. Retrieved 29 December 2022.
  21. ^ "Malaysia Championship Series 2019 - Round 3 Sepang Circuit - Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Final results Race 2" (PDF). 13 July 2019. Retrieved 29 December 2022.
  22. ^ "2023 F4 SEA Championship - Round 3 - Final Result Race 3" (PDF). 3 December 2023. Retrieved 3 December 2023.
  23. ^ "Sepang, 6-7-8 June 2014 Supersport - Results Race" (PDF). World Superbike. Dorna. 8 June 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2022.
  24. ^ "2004 Sepang Formula Nippon". 19 September 2004. Retrieved 17 June 2021.
  25. ^ "Ferrari Challenge Asia–Pacific Race 1 Car @ Sepang International Circuit (Malaysia)". 26 August 2017. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
  26. ^ "2013 Sepang 1000KM" (PDF). 8 December 2013. Retrieved 29 December 2022.
  27. ^ "2010 Formula BMW Pacific Sepang Results – Round 1". 3 April 2010. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
  28. ^ "2008 Sepang Speedcar - Round 5". 22 March 2008. Retrieved 17 March 2024.
  29. ^ "Asian Formula 2000 2000 Round 6 Results: Asian Festival of Speed Sepang F1 Circuit, Malaysia - July 29th". 29 July 2000. Archived from the original on 30 May 2001. Retrieved 30 December 2023.
  30. ^ "All Star 2000". 25 June 2000. Retrieved 29 December 2022.
  31. ^ "TCR MY 2020 » Sepang International Circuit Round 5 Results". 29 February 2020. Retrieved 24 April 2022.
  32. ^ "2023 Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS - Race 2 - Round 12 - Classification - Final" (PDF). 24 September 2023. Retrieved 24 September 2023.
  33. ^ "2023 Round 2 - FIM Asia Road Racing Championship Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia Asia Production 250cc Race 2 - Official Result" (PDF). 14 May 2023. Retrieved 14 May 2023.
  34. ^ "Asian Touring Car Championship 2000 Round 8 Results: Asian Festival of Speed, Sepang F1 Circuit, Malaysia July 30th., 2000". 30 July 2000. Archived from the original on 16 May 2001. Retrieved 30 December 2023.
  35. ^ "2020 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship Sepang UB150 Race 2 - Official Results" (PDF). 8 March 2020. Retrieved 23 October 2022.
  36. ^ "Afridza Munandar, Rider Indonesia Berprestasi yang Tewas di Asia Talent Cup Sepang". www.bola.net (in Indonesian). Retrieved 3 November 2019.

External links edit