KUALA LUMPUR: The Motul Sepang 12 Hours race, scheduled for Dec 7-10, has been cancelled — the first time the event is called off since its introduction at the Sepang Circuit in 1999.
Organiser SRO Motorsports, in a statement on their website yesterday, said they were unable to assemble a sufficient team for the event.
SRO claimed that poor public interest over the past few seasons, as well as the introduction of new long distance GT races, had diminished the interest teams had in the Sepang race.
Motul Sepang 12 Hours General Manager Benjamin Franassovici said the organisers had no choice but to cancel the event.
"It has been a very difficult decision but we feel this is the only realistic option available to us less than six weeks before the race is due to take place," said Franassovici.
"SRO rightly considers an endurance event featuring less than 18 cars as unviable. It’s also important to retain the Sepang 12 Hours’ spectacle and given the present situation, I don't think that would have been possible this year.
"Cancelling ahead of time is therefore considered a more responsible option than staging a high-profile endurance race below capacity."
With Sepang no longer taking place, both the Intercontinental GT Challenge Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ titles were decided by the results of this year’s three previous rounds: the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hours, Total 24 Hours of Spa, and Mazda Raceway California 8 Hours.
Audi are the manufacturers’ champions for the second time while Markus Winkelhock, who represents Audi, claimed the drivers’ title.
The Sepang 12 Hours was previously known as the Merdeka Millennium Endurance Race.