Badminton is Probably More Fun to Watch Than an Endurance Race – Asian Le Mans Series Final Race in Sepang

Yes, you read the title right. And that’s coming from someone who actually likes cars and just about anything with 4 wheels and an engine. To me, cars are interesting. And what is even more interesting than average cars would be racing cars – High octane fuel, high revving engines, highly skilled race drivers, grid girls in really high heels, and high costs. 

Motorsport and Entertainment


Motorsport is a sport. And the only thing that makes sport such a lucrative industry is that it has the ability to entertain. Without the ability to entertain, you won’t garner attention. And without attention, sport wouldn’t have as much of a marketing value as it does in our society today. Marketing, sponsorship, and advertising are where the money really is when you’re an athlete or a racing team. 

Football or badminton is fun to watch in a stadium or a court because you can see the whole thing while sitting in a spot. There is the suspense of the opponent trying to score a goal and the anticipation of trying to score a penalty when you watch football. There is the suspense of playing too close to the net and the anticipation of scoring a point against the opponent when you watch badminton. I don’t even care about football or badminton, yet I find it engaging when I watch it.

When watching an endurance race, a car might suffer a mechanical failure but there was no suspense leading up to it. It just happens and then you’re disappointed that the team you support didn’t make it. You might be anticipating an overtake but it usually happens in a corner you can’t see with your own eyes. The excitement is only in the early phases of the race and the last 5 minutes of the race.

We want to be entertained. You may not admit this, but unless you’re a monk, your uttermost subconscious desire is to be entertained. I sat back and relaxed at grandstand and allowed myself to be entertained. But it wasn’t as sensational as I hoped it to be.



What Was Actually Happening in Sepang?


It was the 2017/2018 Asian Le Mans Series and it was the final race in Sepang. Thanks to the guys from noequal.co and _tgtr, 1000 of us motorheads obtained a free entry to the grandstand. And thank to the guys from biadap__, I had a 30-minute experience in the paddock area as the teams were prepping for the race. My dumb ass was loitering in the parking lot when they called for the paddock entrance.

Only upon entering the paddock area did I learn that there were several categories in the Asian Le Mans Series – LMP2, LMP3, GT, and GT Cup. They were here for a 4-hour endurance race that would also be the final race for the 2017/2018 series.


LMP2

LMP2 was lthe highest class during the race. I did try to observe and I think the car models participating were either an “Oreca 05 Nissan” or A “Ligier JS P2”. They had deep rumbling engines which were really different from the sound of F1 cars. They were powered by Naturally Aspirated V8s (Nissan VK45DE 4.5L V8 for the Oreca, Gibson GK-428 4.2L V8 for the Ligier) or a Turbocharged V6 (Nissan 3.8L V6 Twin Turbo). 


Car Models:

- Oreca 05 Nissan

- Ligier JS P2

Engines:

- Nissan VK45DE 4.5L V8 (Oreca)

- Gibson GK-428 4.2 L V8 (Ligier)

- Nissan 3.8L V6 Twin Turbo (Ligier)

 Ligier JS P2 Nissan of Algarve Pro Racing. I was really digging the livery but then the car had a gearbox issue after 30 minutes.


I think “ARC Bratislava” with car number 4 was running a less powerful engine because they were definitely left behind pretty far. These guys were Slovakian or something.



LMP3

LMP3 is a step down from from LMP2. All teams were using a Ligier JS P3 running a Nissan VK50 5.0 L V8 with 420hp. There was one Malaysian team in this category.

Learn more about the Ligier JS P3 car here.

My favorite racing livery. They are also quite hard to tell apart from the LMP2 cars.

 

GT

Just a small category in the Asian Le Mans Series with only 3 teams. One was driving an Audi R8 LMS, the second was driving a BMW M6 GT3 and the third one was driving a Ferrari 488 GT3.

 


GT Cup

I looked up the Asian Le Mans Series website. This is like a one make race kind of thing. But really, there was only just one car and it was this Porsche 997 Cup. This 911 would look all intimidating and terrifying on the streets but next to the le mans cars it looked like my Proton Persona.

 


So those were the categories participating in the final race of the 2017/2018 Asian Le Mans Series.


Support Races

Before the main race some Formula 4 cars had a short race and then some Caterhams had a go on the track. All that was running through my mind while watching these races was just how much it actually costs to participate and is there really a significant ROI?

 This white formula 4 car reminds me of the white Hesketh James Hunt drove.


 Kit Car


Some Shots For You to See

 An LMP3 Car that didn’t race.


 Have a look inside. It has no radio player, just like my Axia E Manual

 A GT Audi R8 at the south side. I didn’t know what it was doing there.




Pictured above - The guys we were gunning for with No Equal and TGTR – Jazeman Jaafar, Afiq Yazid, and Weiron Tan in the Number 7 Oreca 05 Nissan from the Jackie Chan DC Racing Team.

Yes, Jackie Chan the Stunt Film Kung Fu Movie Star. He has a racing team.

I did take more pictures that I’ll be releasing from time to time on my Instagram feed. If I put them all here this page will take ages to load. Follow me on Instagram here > arif.chan


Conclusion 

 

I didn't stay for the whole shebang but after looking through social media and reading some news, I learned that the guys we were gunning for had a mechanical failure and I think finished last. Let’s try again next time. We're proud of you Jazeman Jaafar, Afiq Yazid, and Weiron Tan.

It was a great experience for many gear-heads, some who’ve never even been in Sepang prior to this event. It definitely brought together the various car enthusiasts in Malaysia, although not all of us could make it.

Will I still go for another motorsport event?

Hell yes, even if it might bore me a little.

Until then.


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