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Southeast Asian racing

Races in Malaysia, Singapore and at Macau developed through the late 1960s from libre racing towards a 1600cc formula. This was formalised in 1971 allowing 1600cc 2-valve engines, the same as Australian Formula 2 and SCCA Formula B, but by omitting 4-valve engines such as the Ford BDA, it differed from the new British Formula Atlantic. In 1975, the Macau Grand Prix tried to move to Formula Atlantic, but a lack of entries forced it to run as Formule Libre.

For 1976, all the major races in the region agreed on a 1600cc 4-valve formula, closer to Formula Atlantic but still allowing the old Cosworth FVA to be used alongside newer Cosworth BDMs. Crucially this Southeast Asian formula allowed fuel injection, which was not allowed in Formula Atlantic. Exactly what rules Macau was running to in 1976 and 1977 remains unclear.

After two successful seasons of this 4-valve formula, the southeast Asian races finally aligned with both Japan and New Zealand to use Formula Pacific from 1978 onwards, although the rules for Malaysia's National Formula mentioned neither Atlantic or Pacific. The series faded away quite abruptly after 1982, when the FIA replaced Formula Atlantic and Formula Pacific with Formula Mondial, the Macau Grand Prix moved to Formula 3 rules, and Japan's Formula Pacific series was cancelled.

These races were usually mentioned in British, Australian and New Zealand magazines, but full results were rarely published. If you can help us complete these records, please email Allen at allen@oldracingcars.com.


The 1971 season

11 Apr 1971 > Singapore Grand Prix for Cars

18 Apr 1971 > Selangor Grand Prix at Batu Tiga

05 Sep 1971 > Malaysia Grand Prix at Batu Tiga

21 Nov 1971 > Macau Grand Prix

The 1976 season

25 Apr 1976 > Malaysia Grand Prix (cancelled) at Batu Tiga

02 May 1976 > Penang Grand Prix

15 Aug 1976 > Selangor Grand Prix at Batu Tiga

24 Oct 1976 > Indonesia Grand Prix at Jakarta-Ancol Jaya

14 Nov 1976 > Macau Grand Prix

19 Dec 1976 > Metro Manila Grand Prix at Manila-Greenhills

Rothmans International Trophy Championship events shown in bold

The 1977 season

24 Apr 1977 > Malaysia Grand Prix at Shah Alam

01 May 1977 > Penang Grand Prix

25 Sep 1977 > Selangor Grand Prix (cancelled) at Shah Alam

20 Nov 1977 > Macau Grand Prix

Motor sport in Malaysia during this period was organised by Kelab Sukan Motor Malaysia (Malaysia Motor Sport Club, or MMSC). Most Malaysian events in this period were held at Batu Tiga in Selangor, a dedicated motor racing facility designed by John Hugenholtz and opened in 1968. The circuit was known as Shah Alam Racing Circuit from 1977 onwards. Other circuits in regular use included the Esplanade Circuit on Penang Island used for the Penang Circuit Races, and the Thomson Road circuit used for the Singapore Grand Prix until the race was canned for safety reasons after 1973.

Note also that the national Grand Prix was billed as the Malaysia Grand Prix in the 1970s, not the Malaysian Grand Prix.