Drifter Leona Chin hopes new SIC boss sees completion of Master Plan

Professional race car driver Leona Chin hopes Sepang International Circuit’s (SIC) new boss Azhan Shafriman Hanif will oversee the completion of the SIC Master Plan.

The plan, which was activated in 2014, is aimed at turning SIC into Asia’s cutting-edge sports and entertainment hub. This would also see a diversification of revenue streams to help upkeep the circuit and assist the motorsports industry.

Azhan, who was previously the head of strategic alliance in Petronas’ brands department, was appointed SIC chief executive officer earlier this month after Datuk Razlan Razali’s tenure of over 11 years ended.

“I believe Azhan should prioritise making it (SIC) a perfect motorsports hub for everyone. Make it affordable for the people to curb the illegal street racing culture and encourage racing only on the track by reducing track fees for local participants, both for two wheels and four wheels,” said Chin, who is also a drift expert.

She also hoped to see SIC provide courses for professional racing licences which will serve as a pass for racers to drive on tracks and in competitions.

“At the moment, anyone can have a racing licence just by going through a medical check-up and paying membership fees. Just like when you learn how to drive a car, you need to learn the basics in racing like the different colours of the flags and what they mean and the importance of wearing racing gear.”

She related her experience attending a driving course by China Motor Sport Association.

“Students went through a series of theory and practical sessions before they were given racing licences. Although it costs more to attend such a course, it will raise a student’s skills.”

Contrary to popular belief, SIC is booked all year long but the Covid-19 pandemic and implementation of the Movement Control Order have disrupted the racing calendar severely.

To this, Leona said: “Yes, the track is booked throughout the year but with the MCO, it’s been tough for the business community. I believe he will do the best he can in such trying times.”

Leona was a guest on The RSS with HD yesterday as she spoke about how she got into racing and how she convinced her mother, Susan, to buy her first car which she used to college and to learn how to drift.

Hosted by actor and comedian Rashid Salleh and joined by Twentytwo13 editor Haresh Deol, the weekly talk show is produced by Toucan Media and Professional Storytellers.