Thursday, November 29, 2007

A1 GP 2007 Sepang - Pre-race - Part 4

Please click here to view 99 photos taken by yours truly (KC).

The photos were taken on Saturday 24 November 2007 for the Qualifying Rounds. Part 4 is the last part for the A1GP reports.
The number of spectators was very low for the Qualifying Rounds - not very encouraging. I hope with the awareness that you had read in this KC&SR weblog, you will go to Sepang F1 Circuit to support the next A1GP or racing event.

SIM - To all the runners who will be running in Singapore International Marathon this Sunday 2 Dec, have a good run and enjoy yourselves in this world-class event.
WENG will be running in the full marathon with his new camera. If you see him, wave enthusiastically at him so that he can take your photos. He will be wearing a navy blue Pacesetters running vest.

Click here to view photos of some of the sunshine runners.

Shukri and I were walking towards the grandstand in the morning

Qualifying Segments

Supersaloon Race

After a few laps, a few of them were emitting smoke or retiring early due to engine failure

Hey! Hey! Can you notice me? At the Petronas Formula Xperience Race.

No Smoking sign at the cigerattes booth?

Yours truly is trying on the tyre change challenge

Drivers Autograph session: I received one autograph from Aaron Lim, the up-and-rising star of Grand Prix racing

Qualifying Segments for A1 GP 2007 main race the next day, Sunday 25 Nov.

Team Malaysia driven by Alex Yoong

Posted by KC

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A1 GP 2007 Sepang - Pro at Work - Part 3

In A1 Grand Prix 2007 at Sepang, the stars of the event were the racing cars, the young and handsome A1 drivers, and the attractive Umbrella Girls. Other than the swift action support crew, another group that attracted a lot of attention is the photographers with huge lenses mounted on to their cameras.

For those photographers who were on the race track taking photos, the preferred minimum focal length should be 200 mm and longer. So, when one is taking photos standing close to photographers with those bazooka lenses, make sure the sizes are comparable.
Looks like I need to upgrade to 300 mm lens. Jason Lee has bought one Nikon 300 mm lens (click here) so he is ready for the next motor racing at Sepang F1 Circuit.

This photographer is carrying three big lenses, using special bicycle to move around.

Looks like he is carrying a bazooka

Attention-grabbing transporter

CS Wong with his Nikon D200

Common Focus: Wong KC, Yeo Han, Alain Wee and CS Wong

Centre of attraction - The Umbrella Girl. Notice that all of them are standing at a distance from the subject.

Shukri and Lia (new kid on the block with her new Nikon D40X)

Chilly padi pro with 'gaya' (style)

To be continued later: Pro at Work - the Orang Putih photographers

Posted by KC

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A1 GP 2007 Sepang - Part 2

Please click here to view 110 photos (Part 2 on Race Day, Sunday 25 Nov) taken by yours truly (KC).

Next, photos taken on Saturday 24 Nov during the Qualifying Rounds.

Start of Supersaloon Race at 12:20 p.m.

A good supporter of Team Malaysia

Well prepared for the occasion

Cultural dances to grace the main event - Feature Race @ 3:00 p.m.

Parade of drivers in Lotus sports cars

Umbrella Girls standing tall at the starting grid. BTW, they were holding the sign post in the form of lolipop in the morning. However, at 2:30 p.m., they were actually holding an embrella each.

Support crews and supporters

Pit lane walk and visit

The tyres without 'flowers' are for dry condition... So, will you challenge the mechanics at your regular tyre shop when he recommends that you should change your car tyres when he spots that your tyres have 'no flowers'?

Precision manoeuvring in between grandstand and the pitstop building

A1 GP racing cars in action ...

The moment of despair

The champion racing car

Posted by KC

Monday, November 26, 2007

A1 GP 2007 Sepang - Part 1

Please click here to view 71 photos (Part 1) taken by KC.
Work is in progress to process Part 2 of the photo album.
(click Slideshow; press F11 key to expand and externalise the caption; to return, press F11 and then click X)
Written by KC

VROOM… VROOM… VROOM… My adrenaline was pumping and my heart was beat faster when the drivers were revving up the responsive engines. The audience roared with approval though the applause paled in comparison with the nerve-wrecking, eardrum-piercing sound from the awesome machines. You have to be there – live – to experience the excitement of A1 GP (Grand Prix) 2007 Malaysia.
Sepang F1 Circuit

The moment was set for the Feature Race starting at 3:00 p.m. on an overcast sky on Sunday 25 November. All the 20 racing cars were ready to go. Within second, the drivers stepped hard on the accelerator and the racing cars thrusted forward veering off at very high speed.

Immediately, the grandstand was quiet down and most spectators were looking on their left to catch a glimpse of the fast moving cars that sped off. Just at the first cornering, we could see the dust was blown up high. We knew immediately that it was not a smooth start. From far, I could see a car was in the sand pit. And from the giant TV screen positioned opposite the grandstand, we saw that a yellow racing car – the one driven by Alex Yoong, the driver of Team Malaysia – was driven off track into the sand pit. Oh! No! The fans’ dream and hope were partly shattered at that moment.
A1 GP racing cars

When the racing cars were zooming past at blistering speed, the thunderous VROOM sound was deafening. One has to put on earplugs to protect the eardrum. In the absence of proper earplugs, I saw a few spectators just tore the tissue paper and stuffed into their ears.

One interesting point that I noticed was that when we want to catch the view of racing cars that were zooming past, we would constantly turn our head from right to left, the same speed as the racing cars. After a numerous attempts, that was really a good exercise for the neck.

Shukri and Lia. She just bought a new Nikon D40x. I jokingly told Lia that when a new runner mixes with marathon runners, eventually, he/she will run a full marathon. Likewise, mixing with photographer who owns long tele-photo lenses, the new photographer will one day buy expansive long lenses too.

Pomp and Splendor

Just before the Feature Race, the Pit lane was opened: the support crews, photographers and authorized spectators are allowed to walk on the road – the only road meant for cars racing.

It was started with a brief lion dance followed by cultural dances with dancers in vibrant colours. The drivers were then ferried in Lotus sports cars to parade the grandstand. The spectators cheered and applauded happily.

The Umbrella Girls

The Umbrella Girls then marched orderly to the starting grid, one per car, while waiting for the A1 racing cars to position themselves. Then, all support crews went to their cars respectively, each team carried their spare tyres and equipment on the pit lane. It was quite an unusual sight to see so many people on the pit lane, where being there at the wrong timing could mean fatal accident and be famous worldwide for the wrong reason.

10 minutes before the starting time, the support crews still have not even mounted the tyres on to the sports cars. After all, what is the hurry… they could change the tyres and refuel at pitstop in less than 10 seconds. I sensed that they waited until the last moment to determine whether to use dry or wet tyres - a tactical move.

Performace of cultural dances before the start of Feature Race

Alex Yoong

After the off-track mishap, our handsome hero, Alex Yoong was almost at the last of the pack. The first car that returned to pitstop after the first lap, unfortunately, was the Malaysian car. During the mishap, the nose cone and the front wing assembly were affected. The support crew worked swiftly and he was quickly ridden back on track.

With determination to get a better position and with the support from the Malaysian spectators who clapped and cheer every time he went past the grandstand, he surged on and was progressing well overtaking at least five racing cars.

The pitstop for Malaysian Team

Light-hearted Thoughts

Girls and mean machines are the excellent combination – just temporary forget about the guys behind the wheels. When the umbrella girls were marching steadily towards the pit lane, the crowd started cheering, much excited when the A1 cars were zooming pass.

After witnessing their duty standing under the hot sun, I fully understood why that role was so important and it has been there since I played with toy racing cars since I was small.

Four tyres for dry condition; four for wet.

The girls with the umbrella actually provide the necessary shade for the drivers who were all dressed up; at times, for herself. For our hot and humid weather, we would not be able to within one minute without air-conditioning in our cars. I am not sure whether there are air-conditioning in the A1 or F1 cars. Since the small umbrella was only mean for one person, I presume one day, I hope no one will expand the requirement to provide shade to the other crew members. When that requirement arises, the girls will have to carry the ‘pasar malam’ (night market) umbrella, which is bigger. Then we will change the title from Umbralla Girl to Pasar Malam Umbralla Girl – First in the world.

Parade of drivers on Lotus sports car

Many months ago, I heard a joke from a comedian: Generally, the Malaysian drivers are very KPC (busybody). Whenever there is an accident, they will slow down – to look for the affected car number plate to buy 4D (numbers for gambling). Why our Alex Yoong can never win in Grand Prix? Because when there is an accident in the race, he would slow down to watch. In this Feature Race, unfortunately, he was involved in the mishap.

Heart-to-heart talk

Type of Events in This A1 GP

Classic Cars Race – From the word ‘classic’ you know that these cars are not new.

Asian F3 Race – They look like the A1 or F1 cars but are smaller in size.

Sprint Race – A shorter distance race for the A1 Feature Race, the main race.

Supersaloon Race – These are the normal cars on our Malaysian road.

Feature Race – The main race.

A1 and F1 – We all know F1 is the famous Formula One Car Racing. The A1 racing cars look like F1. Interestingly, F1 engine is 2.4 litre V8 whereas A1 engine is 3.4 litre V8.


Classic Cars Race

I was there at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday 25 November when the Classic Cars race has already started. The roar of the machine was as loud as the A1 cars, and could be heard 500 meters away before the car appeared. Without looking at the racing cars, one would think that the A1 race has started. The most interesting thing to note was that the make of the cars was at least 20 years old. I saw one Ford Escort (which we only see it in small town) that could race very fast. Most likely, it has a heart transplant and powered by a V8 engine beneath the bonnet.

Support crews and authorised spectators on pit lane

Supersalaoon Cars Race

These are the cars that we still commonly see on the road: Satria 1800cc, old version of BMW 3-series, Honda Integra, etc. But after a few laps, a few of them either emitted smoke from the exhaust pipe, or worst still, the whole engine emitted smoke. A few were seen retired earlier due to mechanical problems.

An interesting scene I saw was that one car was tailgating another very closely. It was quite amusing that since there was no marking of lanes as in our PLUS Highway, the driver behind was free to change lane and surged on. To my amazement, the car in front was actually swaying from left to right – probably busy looking at the back mirror – to prohibit his competitor from overtaking. They must be in the wrong type of sports! Or they still thought that they were driving on the PLUS Highway.

The chequered flag and the Champion of Feature Race

Crowd and Support

The support and responses from Malaysian are not very encouraging. The spectators only started to come in at 1:00 p.m. to witness the main race at 3:00 p.m. In the morning, the number of spectators was really appalling. As I understand, if the crowd is not huge, Malaysia may loose the opportunity to stage in the circuit.

As for the Qualifying Rounds on Saturday, the day before, the responses were even worst! I guessed it could be less than 300 spectators!

Time for celebration


I was glad that it was my maiden support for the motorsports. I should have been there at Sepang F1 races a couple of times ago. Thanks to my friends, Shukri who showed me the way last Saturday for the trial run of Motorcycles GP 2008. So for the two consecutive weekends, I have been to Sepang F1 Circuit for three times.

From now on, not only that I will record all the running events in my dairy, I will include all major Grand Prix events at Sepang F1 Circuit too.

Written and posted by KC

Yours truly (KC) at the scene of A1 GP 2007 Sepang F1 Circuit

A1 GP 2007 Sepang Malaysia

Grand stand area of Sepang F1 Circuit

Please click here to take you to news on the A1 GP 2007 Grand Prix at Sepang Malaysia on Sunday 25 November. Scroll down to Malaysia and read about Alex Yoong, the driver for Team Malaysia, who encountered a little mishap.

Click here for the photo gallery from

The photos above are extracted from

Posted by KC

Sunday, November 25, 2007

SIM 2007 Here We Come

Note: Work is in progress to process the photos and story on VROOOOM. Stay tune...
I am pleased to announce some of the runners that will be going down to Singapore to run in the Singapore International Marathon (“SIM”) on Sunday 2 December 2007.

In the name list below, there are eight girls who will be attempting their maiden full marathon as compare to only two guys. The girls are very ‘keng chow’ (strong) too.

To have a glimpse of the runners, please click here to view their photos. You can also click at the photo above. Yes, only one click to see all the runners listed here.

The three photographers who will be taking photos are: Chan Wing Kai, Jason Lee and Hon You. So, make sure you smile for the cameras when you spotted them zero-in on you.

As for me, I just relax at home this time after running three consecutive marathons in SIM since 2004. I just sit back and process the photos from the photographers and the stories from the runners. Quite interestingly, my best timing was achieved in SIM 2004 that clocked in at 3 hours 51 minutes. My other six marathons were exceeding 4 hours.

15 runners in the list below will go to Singapore on Nov 30 (Friday) at 11:59pm by Transnasional Bus from Kuala Lumpur. Steven P5 bought the bus tickets. When he went to check on Saturday 10 November, there were only three tickets left for that bus. By now, I presume all were fully taken up.

Wishing all runners a good run in SIM. Have a pleasant trip and an enjoyable stay.


Angie Ng (maiden attempt)
Boon Lian (maiden attempt)
Janet Tan (maiden attempt)
Josie Yap (maiden attempt)
LiziLim (maiden attempt)
May Sun (maiden attempt)
Moira (maiden attempt)
Wong Chee Sum (maiden attempt)
Chooi Wan
Elaine Wong Kar Yan
Hooi Fang
Lim Peck Yah
Yeoh Siew Choong
Mike Lim (maiden attempt)
Raymond Lim (maiden attempt)

Chin YH
Christopher Jong
Jason Chin Penguin-12
Lim Fang Woei
PK Chan
Steven Penguin-5

Yeoh Ay Chwen
Eng Chai Mey
May Ching
Ng chooi Lin
Tammy Lim

Chan Wing Kai
Jason Lee
Hon You

(red=girl; blue=guy)

Posted by KC