PETALING JAYA: The Sepang International Circuit (SIC) has been forced to let go of another world class sporting event – not thanks to the border controls in place now.
The circuit, which has already scrapped the World MotoGP race and had to say no to a special Asian F1 race, will not be hosting the World Endurance Championship in December this year.
Its chief executive officer Azhan Shafriman Hanif said the focus now was only on staging local events to fill the void.
Sepang hosted the inaugural leg of the World Endurance Championship, which comprises two-wheel and four-wheel races, last year.
“With the borders still closed, it is really tough to hold international events as foreign participation is not possible.
“We do not know how the situation will be later this year as there might be more phases after the recovery movement control order ends after August, ” he said, adding that SIC also took the decision not to go ahead with hosting the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix in November for health and safety concerns.
There was a plan to allow half the number of spectators, compared to the 100,000 strong attendance over the last three years for the Malaysian GP, but the rise in number of new Covid-19 cases recently has caused uneasiness among the decision makers.
“Nobody wanted to take the risk as we are up against an invisible enemy. We can have strong SOPs (standard operating procedures) in place but what if someone who is infected attends the race.
“We do not want to have an SIC cluster later and hence, we had to scrap the race.
It is going to be the first time there will be no Malaysian GP since Sepang started to play host in 1999.
Azhan said all ticket holders can get a refund by either calling their hotline number or through e-mail.
“We may also consider whether to allow the ticket holders to use the ticket for 2021, ” revealing that SIC had sold 20% of tickets before the movement control order started in mid-March.