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Sepang Circuit

Sepang International Circuit
Location Sepang, Selangor, Malaysia
Time zone UTC+08:00
Coordinates

2°45′38″N 101°44′15″E / 2.76056°N 101.73750°E / 2.76056; 101.73750Coordinates: 2°45′38″N 101°44′15″E / 2.76056°N 101.73750°E / 2.76056; 101.73750

Capacity 80,000
FIA Grade 1
Broke ground 1 November 1997
Opened 7 March 1999
Architect Hermann Tilke
Major events FIA Formula One
Malaysian Grand Prix
FIM MotoGP
Malaysian Grand Prix
Length 5.543 km (3.444 mi)
Turns 15
Lap record 1:34.223 (Juan Pablo Montoya, Williams, 2004)

The Sepang International Circuit is a motorsport race track in Sepang, Selangor, Malaysia. It is located near Kuala Lumpur International Airport, approximately 60 km south of the capital city Kuala Lumpur. It is the venue used for the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix, A1 Grand Prix, Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix and other major motorsport events.

History

The circuit was designed by German designer Hermann Tilke, who would subsequently design the new facilities in Shanghai, Bahrain, Turkey, Valencia, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Korea, India and Austin, TX.

The circuit was officially inaugurated by the 4th Prime Minister of Malaysia Tun Doktor Mahathir Bin Mohamad on 7 March 1999 at 20:30 MST (UTC+08:00). 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 October 23, 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.


Layout

The main circuit, normally raced in a clockwise direction, is 5.543 kilometres long, and is noted for its sweeping corners and wide straights.[1] The layout is quite unusual, with a very long back straight separated from the pit straight by just one very tight hairpin.

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 2.71 kilometres long in total.

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 2.61 km in length.

Sepang International Circuit also features kart racing and motocross facilities.

A lap in a Formula One car

Sepang starts with a long pit straight where the DRS zone exists - it is important 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. You brake incredibly late and lose speed gradually as you 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.[2] Turn 3 is a long flat out right hander which leads into Turn 4 - known locally as the Langkawi Curve[3] - 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.[3] 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.[2] Turn 9 is a very slow left-hand hairpin (the Berjaya Tioman Corner[3]), 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'[3] 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 overtaking as you can brake hard into turn 15, a left-handed, second-geared hairpin but you have to be careful not to get re-overtaken as you come into turn 1 again.

Fastest laps timed

Category Driver/Rider Team Bike/Chassis Fastest Lap Time Year
Formula One Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya Williams-BMW Williams FW26 1:34.223 2004
GP2 Monaco Stefano Coletti Rapax Dallara GP2/11 1:44.280 2013
A1GP Republic of Ireland Adam Carroll A1 Team Ireland Ferrari A1GP 1:47.124 2008
Super GT (GT500) Japan Takashi Kogure Takata Dome Racing Team Honda NSX 1:54.306 2007
MotoGP Spain Dani Pedrosa Honda Honda RC213V 2:00.100 2013
FIA GT Singapore Team Clearwater Racing Ferrari 458 2:04.108 2012
Super GT (GT300) Japan Kazuya Oshima Toy Story APR Toyota MR-S 2:06.584 2007
ATCS Michael Choi JAS Motorsport Honda Accord 2:22.669 2011
Group N SingaporeAustralia Lee/O’Shannessy/Hunter Kegani Racing Toyota Celica 2:39.350 2012

See also

References

External links

  • Sepang at Official Formula 1 website
  • Trackpedia guide to driving Sepang
  • Official website
  • BBC's circuit guide
  • TSN Track Walkthrough
  • Sepang International Circuit on Google Maps (Current Formula 1 Tracks)
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