Bengaluru: Catering to rising Indian motor sport fans is an important priority for Sepang International Circuit, said an official of the Malaysian Formula 1 track on Thursday.
“With 1,191 Indians motor sport fans attending the F1 race at SIC in 2015, India stood at the fifth position after Australia, UK, Singapore and Indonesia and has always been a promising market,” said SIC Chief Commercial Officer Sharmila Nadarajah.
Growing from just 117 Indian visitors in 2012 at the Malaysian grand prix, the rising popularity has triggered SIC to plan for an office in India.
Showcasing SIC to India in association with Tourism Malaysia, Nadarajah said the Malaysian Grand Prix has been pushed down in the F1 calendar from March to October which was crucial for the orgnisers.
“This is the first year of our new three-year contract with Formula 1, our older contract signed in 2007 with the March fixture expired in 2015,” said Nadarajah.
Explaining the pushing down of the Malaysian grand prix, the chief commercial officer said the earlier March fixture left the orgnisers with very less time to promote the race efficiently, leading up to leftover tickets as the F1 calendar is generally announced around November every year.
“And March is also the time when Easter festival generally is round the corner, with most Christians travelling home around the world to be with family and affecting the ticket sales,” she said.
According to Nadarajah, the new Malaysian F1 grand prix scheduled from September 30 to October 2, 2016 has been redefined with more family orientation than the past.
Just one F1 ticket will allow a visitor to experience a plethora of other events like drift racing, rally, 4×4 off road trail, go karting and others for free in 2016.
Interestingly, other than F1 races, SIC of late has also become famous for hosting weddings, concerts, corporate parties, marathons, launches, cycling and others.
“We have been hosting weddings from the past two years as we have wide open spaces and indoor spaces like ballroom kind of facilities, it is well suited,” said Nadarajah.
SIC is also hosting the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix 2016 in the same month from October 28-30, 2016.