Malaysia’s very first oval racing series has been announced with the official launch of the 2020 LIQUI MOLY US LEGEND CHAMPIONSHIP that will feature six rounds at Perak’s T-City Gopeng Motor Speedway, currently the only purpose-built oval circuit in Malaysia.
The Championship will feature an Arrive-and-Drive Legend Car class for amateur and professional drivers, and the Bandolero class for children between the ages of 8 and 15.
First introduced in Malaysia in 2018, this is the first time the Legend Car and Bandolero Car classes will be introduced as a full-fledged championship.
“The acceptance of oval racing in Malaysia over the last two years has been surprisingly encouraging by the local fraternity, and I am pleased that we have been able to attract both young as well as experienced drivers over the last two years who not only find it challenging but equally exciting,” said US Legend Cars Malaysia Principal Ben Tan adding that the series was the first step towards competing in the highest discipline of oval racing which is NASCAR.
“Oval circuit racing is still in its infancy in Malaysia as well as the Asian region. The first two years has been about enabling local drivers to become more familiar with the concept of competing on oval short tracks. The Gopeng Motor Speedway is a purpose-built motorsport racing track venue with a dedicated oval circuit and various supporting facilities. Today, the track is not only able to hold sanctioned races, but we are in the process of establishing a racing academy, putting in the necessary infrastructure in order to facilitate the development of race teams, as well as the sale of race cars.”
Both the Legend Car and Bandolero Car classes provide a level and competitive playing field, and the cost of participation is inexpensive making it an ideal ground for those who aspire to start racing as well as those who want to hone the skills of a new motor-racing discipline.
The Legend Car class will be divided into three categories for novice, national and international drivers, while the Bandolero Car class will strictly be for novice drivers. To date, the championship has attracted entries from Malaysia, Australia, China and Hong Kong.
The arrive-and-drive Legend Car class will see drivers competing in identical race cars with a minimum car and driver weight of 590kg, and powered a factory-stock Yamaha FJ1200 engine rated at 132 brake horse power. The Bandolero class for children meanwhile, will feature cars powered by 30 brake horse power 570cc Briggs & Stratton Vanguard engines with a minimum combined car and driver weight of 340kg. The power-to-weight ratio of the race cars make it extremely quick and agile compared to racing a traditional saloon car and competing on a 240-metre asphalt oval circuit almost guarantees close and fierce competition from start to finish.
All Legends and Bandolero cars are manufactured by US Legend Cars International, Inc. and the Malaysian championship is sanctioned by INEX Malaysia (INEX MAL), an affiliate of INEX which is the international governing body. Like NASCAR, INEX supports, promotes, and manages all sanctioned race track and racing programmes. INEX sanctions more than 2,500 races at more than 300 different tracks throughout the world in the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia, and since its inception in 1995, has sanctioned more than 60,000 races on both asphalt and dirt ovals as well as road courses.
First introduced and raced in 1992, the Legend and Bandolero Car series was conceptualized to provide an affordable class of racing. The race cars are 5/8 scale replicas of popular vintage American cars, with fiberglass bodies encasing specially-constructed space frame chassis. This makes for ideal competition on small tracks and presents drivers with lower maintenance costs.
Today, the series is held in more than 30 countries and has established itself as a sound stepping stone for those who aspire to move up the ranks of oval circuit racing to as high up as NASCAR.
Former Legend Car drivers who have gone on to establish successful careers in NASCAR include two-time Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr and Kyle Busch who holds the record for the most all-time wins in all three of NASCAR’s national touring series with 208 wins and is the 2015 and 2019 NASCAR Cup Series champion. Also included are 2020 Daytona International Speedway Speedweeks’ winners Joey Logano, William Byron, Noah Gragson and Grant Enfinger.
Entry fee for the arrive-and-drive Legend Car class is RM3,000 per round, and includes preparation and rental of the race car, fuel, tyres, brake pads as well as other consumables and technical support. Entry fee for the Bandolero Car class meanwhile, is RM2,000 per round also inclusive of all the above.
Round 1 of the championship starts on 13 march followed by Round 2 on 17-18 April; Round 3 from 19-20 June; Round 4 from 17-18 July; Round 5 on 21-22 August; with the sixth and final round to be contested on 25-26 September.
To participate or for more information, contact US Legend Cars Malaysia Motorsports Director Stephen C.H. Loh at 019-3586868, email to email@example.com, or contact the US Legend Cars Malaysia Head Office at +605-241 3560 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.