It’s a very exciting week for all of us that call Kuala Lumpur home. For the first time ever we will have the streets around the Golden Triangle closed up for three whole days so that six hundred horse power GT cars can blast around them.
Street races have become some of the best motor racing events around the world and for the first time we will have our own City race- the KL City Grand Prix. It’s a bold new adventure and I’m thrilled to be in town for it.
Street races bring their own brand of racing that is just a thrill to watch. The bumpy uneven surfaces mean that cars are always on the point of sliding out and crashing into the barriers that must surround every point of the track. The sensation of speed is amplified too as the cars blast past the concrete walls at over 200kph.
For the drivers, it’s one of the hardest challenges you can face. You can’t attack a street track like a normal circuit. The grip is just not there, especially at the beginning. But if you want to be quick, attack it you must. It’s very risky and you need to try and get the balance of pushing at the right time when the track is at it’s quickest just right. The drivers that do that will be the ones who succeed. The Ones that don’t will probably end their weekend in the wall.
I know this better than anyone. I’m lucky to have raced all around the world including the famous Monaco Grand Prix, but two years ago I got it horribly wrong at the Macau Grand Prix while trying to win the Audi R8 LMS Cup. I lost my car at over 250kph and with it the championship too. When a street track bites you, it tends to bite hard.
This weekend we see the birth of a new street track and all of the motorsport community will welcome her with open arms. It brings motorsport to the people and I’m sure there will be a few fans with open mouths when they witness these cars on track for the very first time.
Yes there will be traffic jams and inconveniences around the track, especially on Friday, but I hope the public will be patient with us. I promise you the spectacle will be worth it.