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Back on Track : McLaren's Sepang Track Day 2022

Ben Chia
22/11/2022

We head up to Sepang with McLaren to celebrate the return of the Singaporean track day experience after a long Covid-enforced hiatus


SEPANG, MALAYSIA

In the pre-Covid days, driving up to the Sepang race circuit for a track day session was pretty much a regular occurrence for many Singaporean enthusiasts, so much so that Sepang had basically been adopted by us as our ‘home’ track of sorts, given the lack of motorsport facilities on our island.

But Covid-enforced travel restrictions meant that for the past two and a bit years or so, track day regulars, or ‘trackies’ as they like to call themselves, have been deprived of their much-needed track time. As you can imagine, there’s been a lot of pent-up demand during this time, and now that the borders have reopened, Singaporean track days are back with a vengeance.

McLaren Singapore recently organised their first track day event since the pandemic, and invited 25 of their customers to take their prized machines round the Sepang track. Handily, they asked a few members of the motoring press along as well, on the pretext of letting us try out a few of their supercars around the track, including their latest Artura hybrid model.

To be honest, us media folk were mere interlopers in this whole exercise, as evidenced by the short amount of time we were given with the cars. We were supposed to drive the McLaren GT, 720S and Artura for a couple of laps each, and while yours truly managed to get some seat time in each car, poor Ju-Len missed out on the GT due to the tight schedule. Nevertheless, there was still enough in the bank for some brief impressions.



Happy McLaren owners, ready to get back on track

The main event of course was for the owners, who had the liberty of the Sepang track for the entire day to fully put their rides to work. But what really is the appeal of a track day? Well, for the Singaporean supercar owner, the answer is simple.

As mentioned earlier, Singapore’s small size and limited facilities means that there really is nowhere on our island to fully maximise the potential of a high performance supercar. Driving your car on track remains the safest way to explore the limits of both your car and your own driving abilities, within a controlled environment that limits the risk imposed on other road users.

Pre-pandemic, McLaren Singapore used to organise at least one track day session every year, and most of the events are handled from start to finish by the brand and its official dealer here, Eurokars Supersports. All the customer has to do is pay and show up on the day, and McLaren can even sort out a transport service if you don’t fancy driving your car to the circuit yourself.

The whole thing is packaged like a travel experience, inclusive of food and lodging, so it feels like a mini-holiday of sorts. This latest event was a three day two night affair which saw some owners drive their cars up to Kuala Lumpur, indulge in a full day of track activity, and then drive back again. As holidays go, that’s certainly not a bad one in any petrolhead’s books.

But perhaps the greatest appeal of a track day today is that it can also be a form of escapism. After two years of being stuck on this island, the opportunity to go abroad and drive your car very fast, legally, must surely be attractive to many Singaporean enthusiasts who’ve been starved of automotive excitement. Much like how folks indulge in ‘revenge’ shopping and travelling after the pandemic, perhaps track days can be viewed as ‘revenge driving’, in a positive sense of course.

We take three of McLaren’s supercar models out for a couple of laps each around Sepang, so check out our driving impressions on the next page

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720s Artura gt McLaren track day

About the Author

Ben Chia

CarBuyer's senior staff writer went out to explore the Great Big World, including a stint working in China (despite his limited Mandarin). Now he's back, ready to foist upon you his takes on everything good and wonderful about the automotive world. Follow Ben on Instagram @carbuyer.ben

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