KUALA LUMPUR: Petronas Sprinta has come on board as the title sponsors for this year's Malaysian Cub Prix Championships.
And it has boosted the prestige of the championships, which will be celebrating their 10th anniversary this year.
The championship will break new ground with an eight-round series for the first time and also a big increase in overall prize money, from RM65,900 to RM120,350.
The inaugural competition in 1994 was a five-round event.
The organisers announced yesterday the championships this year would have races for the novices, experts, Yamaha 125Z Challenge and the Wira Under-21 Championship (four-stroke bikes).
The championships' structure has also been dramatically improved, including reduced entry fees and special incentives for privateers.
The revised race structure is expected to benefit the riders in two ways. They will have the opportunity to race in at least two races if they complete the heats in the novices' class. There is also a greater distribution of prize money.
For the new season, entry fee for novices has been reduced to RM100.
A special incentive scheme for privateers in both the experts' and novices' classes has been implemented whereby for every two consecutive rounds completed, privateers will be entitled to a RM150 refund when they sign up for the third race.
The promotions manager for race organisers, Safe Aim Mutual Sdn Bhd, Ron Hogg, said at the launch of the championships yesterday: “This championship must be one of the first races in Malaysia to give money back to the riders.”
Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Hishamuddin Tun Hussein launched the event and also the championships' official website yesterday. The opening round of the championships will be held this weekend in Seremban.
THE RACE CALENDAR
Round 1: Seremban (April 6).
Round 2: Kangar (May 10)
Round 3: Johor Circuit, Pasir Gudang (June 15).
Round 4: Taiping (July 6).
Round 5: Alor Gajah (Aug 10).
Round 6: Sepang F1 Circuit (Sept 7).
Round 7: Kuantan (Oct 5).
Round 8: Batu Kawan (Oct 19).