KFC Malaysia And JMR Rally To Raise Awareness & Support For Motorsports In The Country

Plus, we got a behind-the-scenes look at JMR's team paddock and garage in Sepang!

Cover image via SAYS & JMR

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In case you missed it, the Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia recently kicked off at Sepang International Circuit.

The Triple Eight Johor Motorsports Racing (JMR) team featuring Tunku Putera Tunku Abu Bakar Sultan Ibrahim and teammate Jordan Love had a strong showing, securing a podium finish in the Pro-AM category of round two.

Tunku Putera Tunku Abu Bakar Sultan Ibrahim speaking with reporters at the team garage.

Image via SAYS

The JMR duo completed 27 laps in one hour and 55.010 seconds at the PETRONAS Sepang International Circuit, finishing third in round two. This leaves the team at fourth overall as they look forward to the next rounds at Chang International Circuit in Thailand from 10 to 12 May.

Before the Sepang race weekend, SAYS had the special opportunity to meet JMR drivers and Johor princes — Tunku Panglima Tunku Abdul Rahman Sultan Ibrahim and Tunku Putera Tunku Abu Bakar Sultan Ibrahim.

Plus, we were treated to an insider's look at the JMR team paddock and garage, where we were able to sit down with Tunku Panglima Tunku Abdul Rahman Sultan Ibrahim, who shared the need for more awareness and support for the country’s motorsports industry.

Speaking to the media at a press conference, Tunku Panglima Tunku Abdul Rahman Sultan Ibrahim said, "The sport has to grow for [motorsports talents] to have the opportunities they need.

"We have to make the sport cheaper, and one way to do that is by having more tracks around the country. Good tracks of FIA standards. The more we have, the more all the other states can benefit and more race series can be held.

"I know we are talking about racing, but why are there so many good footballers or football teams? [It is because] there are so many football pitches.

"But if you only have one football pitch, it will be booked out the whole year," he said, highlighting how more race tracks could help propel Malaysian motorsports to move forward.

Phase one of JMR's 'Johor Circuit' at the Pasir Gudang Circuit is set to be completed in the next two to three years.

Image via SAYS

Celebrating five years of collaboration, KFC Malaysia and JMR hope to continue to put Malaysian motorsports on the map and cultivate an interest in the motorsports industry among Malaysians, especially among the youth.

"From a motorsports point of view, there is so much opportunity (in Malaysia)... there is so much talent in this country in terms of mechanics, engineers, and drivers," shared Tunku Panglima Tunku Abdul Rahman Sultan Ibrahim.

In response to a question about inspiring Malaysian youth who want to go into motorsports, he said that the important thing is to have a good fundamental background and to keep pursuing your dreams.

"You never know how you'll end up. Even if you think about it, six years ago, I wouldn't think that I'd be sitting here talking to you guys and racing in the Asian Le Mans Series," he added.

Ultimately, as truly national brands, KFC Malaysia and JMR share the same goal of empowering local talent and pushing the motorsports industry forward

QSR Brands Chief Executive Officer Nehchal Khanna said, "KFC Malaysia aims to empower young Malaysians to explore their potential in a variety of disciplines. JMR is an organisation that already has a strong industry track record and young following.  

"Our partnership with JMR is to encourage young Malaysians to pursue their sporting passions and bring out the best in themselves," he said.

In case you were not aware, KFC Malaysia is owned by QSR Brands — Johor Corporation is the majority shareholder of QSR Brands alongside the Employees Provident Fund (EPF). With over 770 stores nationwide and 30,000 employees, KFC Malaysia takes pride in providing the highest standards of halal products, catered to Malaysians from all walks of life.

As a brand, KFC Malaysia cares for underserved local communities, and has contributed over RM32.4 million to Add Hope Malaysia in the past 14 years towards its cause of aiding underserved Malaysian communities.

If you've ever wondered what it's like to be in a motorsports pit stop garage, here's a little sneak peek:

Image via SAYS
Image via SAYS

But that's not all, 'cause we got VIP access to visit the JMR paddock, which featured the team car and JMR's achievements to date (as well as a pretty good view of the Sepang track, hehe)

Tunku Panglima Tunku Abdul Rahman Sultan Ibrahim talking to reporters before the race weekend.

Image via SAYS

For those who are unfamiliar with motorsports and JMR, the Johor racing team was established back in 2019, helmed by both Johor princes.

In a short span of just five years, they have achieved remarkable feats, with the team taking the podium on several occasions.

Just recently, Tunku Panglima Tunku Abdul Rahman Sultan Ibrahim recorded a second place finish in the GT category of the 2023/2024 Asian Le Mans Series.

Meanwhile, Tunku Putera Tunku Abu Bakar Sultan Ibrahim has continued his excellent performance on the track, achieving 13 podiums in 35 races entered.

KFC Malaysia has been with JMR for the last five years and has advocated for increased awareness of motorsports alongside the Johor team

Image via SAYS

Wanna catch the Sepang race weekend highlights? Follow JMR on social media or watch the highlights below:

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