KUALA LUMPUR: The Sepang International Circuit (SIC) are looking at having almost full attendance for the Petronas Malaysian F1 Grand Prix, which will be held at Sepang F1 Circuit from April 6-8.
The SIC caretaker manager, Datuk Azmi Murad, who is also the senior general manager of operation services for Malaysia Airports, said yesterday that they were targeting to draw 125,000 spectators to the GP.
The circuit, which has been the venue for the GP since its inaugural year in 1999, can fill a maximum of 135,000 spectators.
A 125,000-spectator attendance will be a more than 20% increase compared to the figure for last year’s race, which drew a crowd of 107,634.
But the SIC are optimistic that they can reach the target, especially with the various promotions in place and also the fact that the government are helping out too in conjunction with the Visit Malaysia Year.
“We will be going all out to achieve this figures. For the last two years, the Malaysian GP attracted a 40:60 ratio between international and local spectators,” said Azmi.
“This year is Visit Malaysia Year and, with the worldwide promotions already in place, we hope to reach a 50:50 ratio. Malaysians are known to purchase tickets at the last minute but we hope to create the awareness early.”
The SIC are also co-operating with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) in helping to promote the city as the Grand Prix City by involving all the leading hotels, shopping complexes and restaurants in organising F1-related events.
A session with top corporate leaders was held yesterday and the SIC chairman, Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir, called on corporations to take opportunities from the F1 race as a platform to enhance their business opportunities while supporting the government agenda.
“It has become a prime strategy in generating revenue from tourism. The event commands hundreds of thousands of television viewers and Malaysian companies could make an immediate impact in international mileage by taking up the advertising packages around the track and at the spectator areas,” he said.
In conjunction with the GP, Mokhzani said yesterday that the SIC would be having a Grand Prix Fantasy Gala at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on April 6. The theme is “Fantasy” and eight-time Grammy award-winning American rhythm and blues band Earth, Wind and Fire will perform a 90-minute concert.