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Exactly a week prior to the second leg of 2013 Formula 1 race at Sepang International Circuit, a few of us got invited to the PETRONAS Motorsports  Demo Run 2013. For the uninitiated, this is the only event where you get to see a Formula 1 race car zooming by Jalan Ampang right outside KLCC.

If you haven’t heard how those car sounds like, you’d be in for a treat.

PDRM traffic drill, KL's finest
PDRM traffic drill, KL’s finest

There was a bit of a shower right before the event got started, but thankfully the sky showed mercy and it got brightened up right on cue.

The first event on the program was the PDRM Traffic Drill. A few dozen traffic police arrived with their Honda VFR800 motorcycles and did a coordinated exercise drill while the commentator explained.

Military Tattoo Show
Military Tattoo Show

Then came the pretty exciting Military Tattoo show.

I was initially very confused with this, but it turns out to be a military motorcycle formation and some sort of acrobatic show instead. It was actually very impressive, 6-8 person on the stunt bike doing superman and hands free riding and everything your mom tells you never to try.

Then there’s also the jumping over 10 army personnel by a bunch of bikes. I wouldn’t want to be those laying on the floor for sure (nor the person doing the jumps to be honest). Pretty wild.

PETRONAS Yamaha CKJ and 600cc Supersports motorcycles
PETRONAS Yamaha-CKJ and 600cc Supersports motorcycles

Things then got a bit louder with the racing bikes on the streets. The two wheel machines were PETRONAS Syntium Moto Yamaha AHM & PETRONAS Yamaha-CKJ (underbone motorcycles), as well as the 600cc Supersports motorcycles (essentially the race bike version of the Yamaha R6 street bike).

The riders were doing wheelies, burn-outs, and even a bit of drifting on the road.

All these were happening at the same time we were watching the Melbourne GP on the various LCD screens at the guest/VIP tent.

I got to be a pillion rider on the Yamaha R6 race bike, thrilling experience
I got to be a pillion rider on the R6 race bike, thrilling experience (pics from TianChad)

Four lucky volunteers got to enjoy taxi sessions, with 2 in the Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 race car, and 2 other on the Yamaha 600cc race bike.

Obviously this is too big an opportunity to pass up, so I somehow managed to find the person in charged and got my name on the riding session. (which was going to be canceled initially but luckily got put back on schedule when the rain stopped)

I got cleared by the doctor to qualify for the ride, then put on full leather riding gears and got on the bike with professional rider Shahril.

Man, what an exciting ride that was. The dude showed no mercy and accelerated that bike really hard, followed by equally hard braking when we ran out of road. A quick sharp turn and then we do it again into the other direction along Jalan Ampang. Rinse and repeat 4-5 rounds and I felt more drained than if I was riding my own bike for an hour. I grabbed onto the pillion handle real hard, without which I’d have ended up on the floor.

Thank you Shahril & PETRONAS, that was the most thrilling experience on 2 wheels I’ve ever had.

they could change the tyres of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 in a blink on an eye
they could change the tyres of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 in a blink on an eye

Then there was the PETRONAS Syntium Team doing their thing, show casing how they can change the tyres of Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 race car in literally just a few seconds. The GT3 car did a few quick laps around the road too, what a gorgeous car, I actually have one diecast version at home from buying Grand Tourismo GT5 PS3 game, sitting on the rack in the study room.

F1 W04, the 2013 Mercedes AMG PETRONAS race car
F1 W04, the 2013 Mercedes AMG PETRONAS race car charming the crowd

Of course, what everyone came to see was the Formula 1 car, and man was that a sweet sounding machine. The MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula 1TMrace car came out and did some laps on the road. Fast, sweet looking, and definitely loud too. Many gigabytes of memory card space were filled with photos of the F1 W04 race car that evening. Stunning car, would love to be driving in one (but I guess that will have to be confined to video game experience..)

KY, Ernest, Nazwan, TianChad, and Willy
KY, Ernest, Nazwan, TianChad, and Willy

We had a great time at the event. Seeing some of those machines in action up close and personal was definitely an experience any racing fan would not miss. On top of that, riding on that racing bike at over 200 kmh outside KLCC is something I’ll never forget, awesome day!

Exactly a week later, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg finished 3rd and 4th at the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang, scoring 15 and 12 points for MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula 1 team.

You can feel the presence of Formula 1 in KL around this time of the year ever since the inaugural F1 race at Sepang in 1999. The week leading to the race is often dotted with events that give racing fans chances to get closer to the cars and race drivers many of us admire.

The PETRONAS Mercedes AMG “Meet and Greet” session with Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton was one of such premier events in KLCC.

Mercedes AMG PETRONAS Formula 1 showcase at KLCC
Mercedes AMG PETRONAS Formula 1 showcase at KLCC

While my office is just a short walk away and made getting to the event relatively easy, many fans traveled pretty far and braved the KL traffic to get a chance to be up close and personal to the drivers.

The 2013 Mercedes AMG Formula One car – F1 W04 were on display as well, looking gorgeous in silver and green. I think the much discussed “platypus” nose of the 2013 cars actually looked good on this one.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at KLCC concourse
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at KLCC concourse

At around 10 past 5, the drivers came out to greet the fans. Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton genuinely looked very happy to be greeting the fans, and mentioned that Sepang is one of their favorite race tracks to be competing on.

Lewis Hamilton had a 3rd place finished at Sepang last year, I guess he’ll be hoping to improve on that record this time around.

meet and greet session, the drivers were signing autographs for racing fans
meet and greet session, the drivers were signing autographs for racing fans

After a brief Q&A session with the emcee, the drivers took their seats on the podium and signed their autographs on cards/t-shirts/caps and basically anything else fans requested. The line for the autograph session actually started forming more than 2 hours before the event and by 5 pm it was a huge queue snaking around the concourse area.

KY with Michelle, Tian Chad, Joyce, Gareth, and Ernest
me with Michelle, Tian Chad, Joyce, Gareth, and Ernest. Got the autographs too!

Lucky for me, I got to see Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton and flesh and got myself their autographs too. Best of luck to these two gentlemen on race day at Sepang. Go PETRONAS Mercedes AMG!

Finally the last clue of the week for Spot the Raving Blogger. Free tickets to the Speedzone Grand Prix Party at KL Tower during the F1 eve! The 1st clue is posted at the bottom of the SS2 Korean House review.

There are two words to watch out for in this clue. On Thursday’s The Star, 8 March 2007…..

  • Flip to Page M16
  • Detect article: The only one article on this page.
  • 2nd Column, 3rd line
  • The 1st word: Last word in the line
  • The 2nd word: Put your newspapers aside, check your calendar. What’s the current year?

Now, compile all the words that you have found from the past week. Piece them together to form a phrase. Use your creativity. Or if you don’t have one, just print all the words on the paper 😛

Print the phrase on an A4 size paper and bring it to 1 Utama Starbucks (New Wing) between 2-4pm. Show it to a blogger and win 2 free tickets to Speed Zone Tour 2007.

See you tomorrow at 1 Utama Starbucks (New Wing).

This is the 4th of 5 clues for Spot the Raving Blogger contest that lets you win 2 free tickets to the Speedzone Grand Prix Party at KL Tower during the F1 eve. The 1st clue is posted at the bottom of the SS2 Korean House review.

On Wednesday’s The Star, 7 March 2007…..

  • Flip to Page M14 – M15
  • Detect article: Pictures consist of women only.
  • 4th Column, 9th line from the bottom
  • The word: Just before the last word in the line.

Find me, and I’ll teach you how to dance like KY.

This is the 3rd of 5 clues for Spot the Raving Blogger contest that lets you win 2 free tickets to the Speedzone Grand Prix Party at KL Tower during the F1 eve. The 1st clue is posted at the bottom of the SS2 Korean House review.

There are two words to watch out for in this clue. On Tuesday’s The Star, 6 March 2007…..

  • Flip to Page B7
  • Detect article: What if there’s a climate change in Kuala Lumpur?
  • T5th paragraph, 3rd line
  • The 1st word: 5th paragraph, 3rd line, rhymes with “cover”
  • The 2nd word: Name the place where this news took place.

Good luck, do it!