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Dumped out of MotoGP but Syahrin set to make motorsport history

KTM MotoGP rider may be about to lose his place in the premier class but he will be competing in both Sepang 8 Hours and WTCR on the same weekend...

HE MAY STILL be reeling from the news that he will lose his MotoGP ride with Tech 3 KTM at the end of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship season but Hafizh Syahrin is still set to make a little bit of history in December when he becomes to first person to compete in a FIM World Championship two-wheel race and an FIA World Championship four-wheel race on the same weekend.

Made possible by the decision to combine both the Sepang rounds of the FIM Endurance World Championship and the FIA World Touring Car Cup into one event, Syahrin will compete in the 8 Hours of Sepang on Saturday 14 December before switching to a car for three WTCR races in the Sunday.

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It’s going to be an incredibly busy weekend for Syahrin, who will need to swap between two to four wheels in one day during practice. Though it isn’t confirmed which bike he’s riding, he will drive a Volkswagen Golf GTI for Liqui Moly Engstler Motorsport, a leading German-backed Asian-based TCR team.

“For 20 years, we have strived to bring many world-class events to appease motorsports fans not only from Malaysia but also from the region,” said Sepang CEO – and Petronas SRT MotoGP team boss – Razlan Razali. 

“With the departure of F1 in Malaysia, we were tasked to look into other world-class events to include in our annual calendar. Through fan voting and further feasibility study, FIM EWC and FIA WTCR were the top two selected events.”

“For the WTCR and EWC events at Sepang, we are grateful and delighted to join forces with Tourism Malaysia as they kick off their Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign. The support we get from Tourism Malaysia goes a long way in ensuring that Malaysia stands out as the main destination for motorsports tourism in the region.”

It’ll give Syahrin something positive to look forward as it seems increasingly likely he will return to Moto2 for 2020 after being bumped out of his KTM MotoGP ride by the incoming Brad Binder.

Syahrin became the first Malaysian to start a MotoGP race in 2018 when he landed a surprise late signing at Tech 3 Yamaha in place of Jonas Folger, who had to withdraw because of ongoing health issues.

Despite his lack of testing on the Yamaha M1, Syahrin acquitted himself well enough to secure an extended stay for 2019 with Tech 3 but this time on KTM machinery following the team’s switch to the Austrian firm. 

However, he has struggled to find his feet on the RC16, with a best finish of 14th from the opening half of the 2019 season.

The first-ever EWC / WTCR mixed event took place in Slovakia in May where Honda - who competes in both series' - gave a great example of how a CBR1000RR Superbike compares to a Civic Type R

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