According to a report by NST, track rental rates for the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) will likely be increased as soon as the mid-2023. This is due to rising operations and maintenances costs, which have significantly reduced profit margins.
“The (SIC) team is still looking at the whole thing (revisions), but the earliest is probably by mid-year or the third quarter (Q3) of this year, otherwise it will be next year,” said SIC CEO Azhan Shafriman Hanif. “Our track rental rates have not been revised for the longest time, probably 10 years now. The current rates are RM55,000 (a day) for weekdays and RM65,000 for weekends,” he added.
“Our costs have increased two- or three-fold and we cannot survive with the current rates as our margins are very, very slim. This includes costs such as logistics to bring equipment in and out of the track, cleaning costs and even landscaping. We are grateful to our existing customers who have supported us over the years, but they need to understand that everyone has been impacted by rising costs,” Azhan continued.
For this year, Azhan revealed that the track is almost fully booked for weekend sessions, but there are still weekday slots available. As for events, the relaxation of Covid-19 standard operating procedures has allowed the SIC team to plan more accordingly. “Last year we were in the recovery phase, and we forecast another tough season for us this year. But at least this year we have more time to plan and promote our events,” commented Azhan.
“Apart from the Petronas Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix, we also have MotoGP winter testing, Malaysian Superbike Championship, Malaysian Championship Series and Sepang 1000KM this year. We will be busy. Progress for the MotoGP winter test (Feb 5-12) has been much smoother this year due to the relaxed SOPs. It is much more straightforward. We had a lot of issues last year with so many approvals needed for the teams to come here,” he added.