Supercars should dream big with their Malaysian adventure

Jawad Yaqub Roar Guru

By , Jawad Yaqub is a Roar Guru

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    Since its inception in 2013, the Enduro Cup has been a major drawcard for the Supercars championship, delivering endurance racing at its finest.

    Iconic locales in Sandown, Bathurst and the Gold Coast turn into gruelling battlegrounds, with the grid of drivers doubling in size to facilitate co-drivers and a large payday of championship points on offer.

    The Enduro Cup in itself has become a mini-championship, which is highly sought after by the drivers and is also a period of unprecedented popularity for the touring car show – due to the sheer unpredictability as a consequence of long-distance races.

    Though many will be content with the current roster of the three high-profile events that form the Enduro Cup, Supercars ought to possibly explore the prospect of adding another race to the triumvirate.

    As Supercars looks to expanding its reach into Asia, it’s worth pondering if the proposed venture to Malaysia in 2018 would be worthy of a slot on the Enduro Cup schedule.

    In what could be the curtain raiser to the endurance smorgasbord, Malaysia and its expected host venue at the Sepang International Circuit should be considered for an early September presence in the mini-championship – prior to the Sandown 500, which’ll remain as the traditional pre-Bathurst event.

    A by-product of a Sepang Enduro would be the much-needed compression in this mid-year lull of a timetable, where the events in Darwin, Townsville, Ipswich and Eastern Creek all seem to be distant in terms of turnaround.

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    Really, it’s only the Sydney SuperSprint that needs to move from its late-August position, closer to the late-July Ipswich weekend. Between Eastern Creek and the proposed Malaysian endurance round, there is enough time for a break.

    Why though, should the Sepang round play host to an endurance event? Well, previous expeditions abroad for the Australian touring car category has yielded very little in terms of entertainment and increasing the profile of the series.

    Rather than showcasing Supercars through sprint races, why not go to the extreme and display the most high-stakes portion of the championship.

    The sweltering tropics of Malaysia would provide the perfect test of endurance for the expanded grid of drivers and the fast, flowing Sepang circuit a catechism of the machinery before heading to the high-demands of Mount Panorama.

    With only a two-hour disparity with the Australian Eastern Standard time zone, there would be no issues with broadcasting at undesirable times for Australian audiences. While weather-wise, September is described to be a ‘dry season’ in Malaysia, though all can attest to rain always being on the horizon at Sepang.

    Longer races in Supercars has for the majority provided superior racing, rather than the short sprints, which have been previously utilised for overseas events.

    An internationally renowned circuit such as Sepang, which has been host to Formula One, MotoGP and a widely regarded 12 Hour GT event – deserves to have the highest level of Supercar racing, which would be endurance racing.

    As supposed to another underwhelming overseas experiment which is represented through a sprint round, Supercars mustn’t be afraid to dream a little big with their Malaysian adventure and pencil it in as a Enduro.

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