*Home hero preparing for 8 Hours of Sepang EWC event and WTCR super-finale *Twin Sepang attack is ultimate test of versatility and vigour *Syahrin will switch between EWC Yamaha and WTCR Hyundai
Malaysian MotoGP rider Hafizh Syahrin is gearing up to do double time at the Sepang International Circuit’s Races of Malaysia event next week.
As well as contesting the 8 Hours of Sepang – round two of the 2019/20 FIM Endurance World Championship – the 25-year-old will take part in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO super-finale, which is made up of three quick-fire races taking place during the day, in dusk and at night under state-of-the-art floodlights.
Syahrin, who recently completed the MotoGP season with the Red Bull KTM Tech 3 squad and entered the Sepang 1000km Endurance Race last month, will effectively be on track for seven days in succession, meaning his physical and mental fitness will be tested to the extreme.
Monday 9 December and Tuesday 10 December will be devoted to testing the Hyundai Team Engstler i30 N TCR he will use at WTCR Race of Malaysia. Wednesday 11 December consists of testing, free practice and night practice for the 8 Hours of Sepang when Syahrin will climb aboard his Sepang Racing Team Yamaha YZF-R1. Thursday 12 December is qualifying day for the 8 Hours of Sepang before Syahrin switches from two to four wheels on Friday 13 December when WTCR Race of Malaysia practice and qualifying is held.
The 8 Hours of Sepang begins at 13h00 on Saturday 14 December with the WTCR / OSCARO races scheduled for 15h15, 18h15 and 20h10 on Sunday 15 December. Races 1 and 2 cover 50 kilometres with Race 3 run over 66 kilometres.
Of the physical and mental challenge, Syahrin insists he will be ready: “It will be hard because we have EWC on Saturday for eight hours, then three races in the car on Sunday. But I will keep my body preparation well and keep resting because this will be important. I hope I can do well in the car and we try to show a nice fight. Let’s see and enjoy.”
The wild ones: Syahrin forms three-strong Malaysian WTCR entry
Hafizh Syahrin is one of three local wildcards in action at WTCR Race of Malaysia. Rising talent Mitchell Cheah will partner him at Hyundai Team Engstler, while the experienced Douglas Khoo is set to drive a CUPRA TCR for Viper Niza Racing.
“It will be interesting and exciting because never has a rider done this kind of crazy things two times in one weekend,” Syahrin said. “For me, why not I try the opportunity that Sepang Circuit gives me to drive a WTCR car [against] seven FIA world title winners. For sure I cannot put any target because I am not sure what’s impossible or possible but I always think possible and I will try to learn and try to take the experience. I hope the fans will like it.”
“Good package” for 8 Hours of Sepang EWC race
Hafizh Syahrin is joining forces with fellow MotoGP racer Franco Morbidelli and Suzuka 8 Hours winner Michael van der Mark to form the all-star Sepang Racing Team. They will ride a Yamaha YZF-R1 in Malaysia’s first FIM Endurance World Championship counter.
“We have a good package on the bike with a good team and good team-mates so for sure the team will put some target there to have a podium in the first 8 Hours of Sepang,” said Syahrin, who finished P16 in the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix at Sepang on 3 November.
Hafizh Syahrin’s Races of Malaysia diary
Monday 9 December
WTCR Race of Malaysia wildcard testing: 19h00-22h00
Tuesday 10 December
WTCR Race of Malaysia wildcard testing: 09h00-11h00
Wednesday 11 December
EWC 8 Hours of Sepang private testing: 09h00-16h00
EWC 8 Hours of Sepang free practice: 16h30-18h30
EWC 8 Hours of Sepang night practice: 19h30-21h00
Thursday 12 December
EWC 8 Hours of Sepang qualifying: 09h30-10h50
EWC 8 Hours of Sepang qualifying: 14h30-15h50
EWC 8 Hours of Sepang free practice: 18h00-18h45
EWC 8 Hours of Sepang Top 10 Trial: 19h15
Friday 13 December
WTCR Race of Malaysia Free Practice 1: 10h00-10h45
WTCR Race of Malaysia Free Practice 2: 12h45-13h15
WTCR Race of Malaysia First Qualifying: 15h15-15h45
WTCR Race of Malaysia Second Qualifying Q1: 19h30-19h50
WTCR Race of Malaysia Second Qualifying Q2: 20h00-20h10
WTCR Race of Malaysia Second Qualifying Q3: 20h20 (DHL Pole Position shootout)
Saturday 14 December
EWC 8 Hours of Sepang warm-up: 09h00-09h45
EWC 8 Hours of Sepang: 13h00-21h00
Sunday 15 December
WTCR Race of Malaysia Race 1: 15h15 (9 laps)
WTCR Race of Malaysia Race 2: 18h15 (9 laps)
WTCR Race of Malaysia Race 3: 20h10 (12 laps)