With less than a week to go to the Malaysian leg of the Formula One Series, Petronas Motorsports gave the Malaysian fans a treat with their Demo Run. The event took place on a bright sunny Sunday 23rd of March across a stretch of Jalan Ampang near KLCC in conjuction with the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix that is going to be held from 28 March until 30 March at Sepang International Circuit. The event showcased Petronas involvement in motorsports that is not only limited to Formula One. This includes the Cub Prix Championship, Asia Road Racing Championship, MotoGP, Asia Cup Series, and even Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM).
The demo began with the XDL Street Jam by Nick “Apex” Brocha and Aaron Twite from the XDL Sportbike Freestyle Championship along with the XDL announcer Chris Tice. Both American riders managed to wow the crowd with their crazy stunt acts on their Triumph bikes.
On the local side, five Cub Prix riders Affendi Rosli, Abdul Muhaimin Roslan, Ramdan Rosli, Ahmad Afif Amran, and Shariffudin Shamsuddin did a few laps of the temporary street course followed by the riders from FIM Asia Road Racing Championship led by Mohd Ramdan Rosli from Team Petronas AHM Malaysia. In addition to that, Ex-MotoGP rider Shahrol Yuzy made a cameo appearance to give a few lucky guests a pillion ride on his bike.
After the action on two wheels, three Petronas oil tankers did a parade along the closed road. This was followed by Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg giving a selected group of guests a taxi ride in the A45 AMG and the CLA45 AMG. They even stopped for a refuelling session with the CLA45 AMG.
Soon afterwards, the talented young driver Afiq Ikhwan Yazid was let loose on the road to do a few laps and burn some rubber with his Formula Asia Cup Series car.
The ever-patient crowd were then rewarded with the sight and sound of the screaming V8 emitted by Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes F1 W03 machine from the 2012 season of Formula One. The crowd went wild as the 2008 champion showed his driving skills in the tight space of Jalan Ampang.
Petronas also brought along a Mercedes-Benz C-Coupe DTM piloted by Daniel Juncadella. The monster C-Coupe DTM powered by a 4.0 litre V8 was angrily spitting flames from the exhaust pipes with the soundtrack to match. Interestingly, the car was equipped with a passenger seat and few lucky persons got to ride shotgun with Juncadella.
Finally the demo ended with the 2014 Australian GP winner Nico Rosberg driving the Mercedes F1 W03. As the roaring crowd went wild, snapping away pictures and recording videos, Rosberg ended the day with a couple of obligatory donuts. It may be the last time we get to hear the piercing shriek of the old V8 engine in a Formula One car, but it was worth to be there in person without the earplugs on.
Great showmanship from the riders and drivers aside, it was a commendable effort by Petronas for allowing the public to witness the machines up close and for keeping the spirit of motorsports alive in the country. If you want more, you should make your way to Sepang this weekend for the Formula One Malaysian Grand Prix.