With the main motorsports organisers in Singapore becoming eerily quiet, the local scene seems to be slowly dying.
While there are still race days at Sepang and at the Johor Circuit, local drift, gymkhana and autocross events have become scarce, leaving people wonder, once again, about the future of local motorsports.
Luckily, some garages have not lost faith in our scene, as Lifestyle MotorSports (LMS) has recently shown us by organising the Autotest.
The event took place at the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, and gathered both autocross and gymkhana disciplines, with the aim to introduce new blood to the local motorsports scene.
Off-road cars were not allowed to participate to avoid drawing unnecessary attention from the authorities and in addition to this, LMS set a series of ground rules meant to facilitate the entry of newcomers to the scene: tyre treadwear was limited to 140 minimum (treadwear under 140 were later allowed, but with a 2 seconds penalty on the runs), and exhaust sound capped at 98db maximum.
The two different racing disciplines, Class B - Gymkhana and Class C - Autocross were both sharing the same cone arrangement, but had different path layouts, with added donuts and 180 handbrake turns for Class B.
In normal autocross and gymkhana fashion, two mirror tracks were laid out, setting the format for the double knockout rounds.
LMS made sure everyone would get a decent feel of motorsports, and the day started with circuit familiarisation and training by instructors. Once the drivers were accustomed to the layout, they tried their best in the timed runs, which would decide on the placement for the third part, the double knockout rounds.
It was good to see regulars and new faces taking it out on the asphalt, and there even were some pretty rare cars, like this Lotus Super 7, running with classic plates and putting up quite a show!
Participants of all walks of life gathered and brought along their rides, which gave a rather eclectic crowd, with cars ranging from FF Swifts and Civics, to AWD Evos and FR Miatas, S2000 and Rx-8.
Some were modded monsters,
Other were bone stock machines,
Yet everyone had a blast, and the most outlandish rides were not always domineering the field.
As every racer knows, it's not just about the size of the engine!
What LMS did on that day was not just to organise a simple motorsports event, they also helped to promote and bring new blood to the scene, which, in time will hopefully help tip the balance in favour of safe and fun motorsports events across the island.
After this well organised event, I would like to tip my hat the the guys at LMS! We're all looking forward to the many more Autotests! (Maybe allow off-road cars next time?)