One car, two drivers, a combined racing distance of 300km, three big races and prize money amounting to RM56,000 – that is the drama, excitement and rewards the PROTON Track Carnival at the Johor Circuit in Pasir Gudang from October 1-3, 2004 promises both competitors and spectators.
The main event at the carnival will be the Enduro Battle, a 42-lap or two-hour semi endurance race for Proton cars divided into two categories; Class A for normally-aspirated cars 1601cc to 1800cc, and Class B for cars up to 1600cc.
Unlike the normal Proton car race, this event allows competitors to carry out modifications to the engine, chassis and bodywork of the car as well as to explore the use of aerodynamics. This is in line with efforts to uplift the standards of racing, promoting technical research and development in automotive performance, and in providing greater and more exciting spectator action.
Close racing action however, will be the order of the weekend. Each team will comprise of two drivers, each required to compete in an 18-lap Sprint Battle with the combined results deciding the car’s position on the grid for the Enduro Battle. To level the field and competition, one of the drivers must be the holder of a novice competition licence and has never won any event in the past. The biggest element of fair play will be the installation of a restrictor in the induction system, a deliberate move to keep the cost of going racing at a minimum and in providing a ceiling to the outright power output that the machine can achieve.
“Our primary objective is to attract newcomers to the sport and as you know, cost is always a major factor in going motor-racing. What we’re doing is lowering the cost required to go racing. The race format has also been designed to produce competitive and talented drivers. We want them to concentrate on the driving more than worrying about not being able to do too much to their cars,” said PROTON Motorsports’ Head of Marketing Khaidi Kamaruddin.
“The race format has also been designed to give competitors maximum time on the track. What this means is that they’re looking at a full weekend of racing, from the time they go out for practice and qualifying on Friday. It is also an event that emphasizes on team tactics and team work and to win, they will have to perform consistently throughout the weekend.””
The prize money offered to those in Class A are as follows; 1st (RM10,000), 2nd (RM8,000), 3rd (RM5,000), 4th (RM4,000), 5th (RM3,000) and 6th (RM2,000). Class B will offer the following prizes; 1st (RM8,000), 2nd (RM6,000), 3rd (RM4,000), 4th (RM4,000), 5th (RM2,000) and 6th (RM1,000).
After the successful Street Shootout (SSO) series, Proton is seriously doing their bit in promoting local motorsports. I’m all for it. Now where do I get that extra dosh from? Anyone interested in sponsoring? The entry fee is attractive and reasonable, and prizes are good as well. It is my ambition to participate in the Malaysian Super Series and/or the Merdeka Race or a local Proton Production race series. Hope to do that before I am 32, if that is realistic. Now, where did I put the keys to my track car again?