For this year, the annual Johor leg of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) will see some new changes in an effort to inject some excitement into the prestigious international rally event. The event already features a facelift as it will be called the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) International Rally of Johor 2017.
“For this year, the Johor round’s traditional flag-off and ceremonial finish will be held at the Johor Circuit in Pasir Gudang instead of the popular Angsana Johor Baru Mall,” clerk-of-the-course Datuk Tengku Shaharin Abu Bakar Tengku Sulaiman told the Malay Mail in Johor Baru yesterday.
He said this was because Angsana Johor Baru Mall will be holding another event during the International Rally of Johor.
However, Tengku Shaharin, who is also the director of Wheel Sport Management, said that it was a blessing that the event will be held at the Johor Circuit in Pasir Gudang.
“The change in the event’s name and venue is also in honour of Tunku Temenggong Johor Tunku Idris Iskandar Sultan Ibrahim and also to help promote the Johor Circuit as the southern state’s motorsports hub.
“We thank the state government for assisting us and making this year’s leg a reality. It will be good for us as organisers as the venue can also hold other side events such as rally clinics and cater to rally enthusiasts in future,” he said, adding that it will give more impact to Johor as a motorsports hub.
On the start of the rally today, Tengku Shaharin said the format will fundamentally be the same except for the transport stages that will see more than 700km.
For the previous rally rounds in Johor, he said the transport rounds will be around 500km.
“In addition to that, we will expect the typical Malaysian rallying challenges due to unpredictable weather looming during the weekend. Rain and humidity will play an important role as in most tropical rally events,” said Tengku Shaharin.
Into its 13th year, the International Rally of Johor 2017 will be the fourth stop in the six-round championship which also takes place in New Zealand, Australia, China, Japan and India.