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Tag / PETRONAS motorsports

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.

If you find yourself at the PETRONAS Twin Towers, in between the two towers you can find presence of PETRONAS Motorsports right at concourse with the two magnificent F1 cars displayed by the entrance.

Liquid and Metal interactive wall, at Petronas Twin Towers Sky Bridge Visitor’s Center
Liquid and Metal interactive wall, take the escalator from Concourse near Tower 1

Working your way to the entrance of Tower 1, then take the escalator down a level, this is where you’ll find the huge Interactive Wall by the Petronas Twin Towers Sky Bridge Visitor’s Center.

the display

the display at Petronas Twin Towers Sky Bridge Visitor’s Center

The wall is at least the size of my room, and the screen displays a mesmerizing flow of liquid and metal in a way that reminds me of WinAmp visualizations.

Kinect is the technology used to make the wall interactive
Kinect is the technology used to make the wall interactive

Walking pass the Interactive Wall, and you’ll notice something changes on the display.

It moves. And if you wave your hands a bit, and it moves accordingly. Neat.

Turns out, the secret is the usage of Kinect technology that senses movements of visitors standing in front of the screen (Hence the name interactive wall bah).

you push, I swing, lets make this happen!
you push, I swing, lets make this happen!

If you find yourself at or near KLCC, head to the Twin Towers Sky Bridge Visitor’s Center and gave the wall a try. The trick is to have two person standing at both sides pushing liquid and metal together, and if you get it just right, mercury swirls and one of 5 animations will appear – mechanic heart, diamond grille, piston, shark, or headlight.

It’s like playing with your shadow on the wall when you’re a little boy/girl.  Except this one actually reacts to your every movement. Have it a go with your friends 😀

Check out this sophisticated visual presentation of science and art at:

  • Venue: Petronas Twin Towers Skybridge Visitor’s Center
  • Date: Today – 18th Jan
  • Operation hours: 9:00am – 7:00pm (TBC)