A field of 17 cars has been assembled for the 2024 12 Hours of Sepang. Official practice and qualifying gets underway on Friday before the full 12-hour race on Saturday. Asian Motorsport tells you everything you need to know in this race guide.

By Steven Walton

This year’s 12 Hours of Sepang is the 19th running of the Malaysian endurance race.

The 2024 race will be the first time since 2016 that it has been run over the full 12-hour distance. Between 2017 and 2022, the race was not held and in 2023 it was only run over eight hours.

The schedule

On-track testing has taken place this week. The first official practice sessions and qualifying happen today, Friday, and the race will take place on Saturday.

Two 90-minute practice sessions take place on Friday morning. The first starts at 8.30 am local time, and the second one is scheduled for 11 am.

Qualifying happens on Friday afternoon between 3pm and 4.55pm.

The race starts at 10 am local time. The 2024 race will go the full 12-hour distance, meaning it finishes at 10 pm local time.

How to watch

Coverage of the race is free. English and Chinese live streams are available.

The English version of the race is being live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube.

Motorsport and sim racing commentator Luke Crane said on social media that he is commentating on the race and he will be streaming it on Twitch.

Two Chinese steams are available, one on Youku and another on Huya.

The cars

A final entry list for the event has not been published, but 17 cars took part in official test sessions held on Thursday.

Of those cars, 12 entries were in the GT3 class, three were GT Cup (GTC) and two were TCR.

Porsche, Ferrari, Mercedes, Audi, Lamborghini, Hyundai and Aston Martin are all represented in the field.

Porsche and Audi were the two most popular brands, with five cars each.

Six teams who raced in the 12 Hours of Sepang last year have returned for 2024: Absolute Racing, EBM, R&B Racing, Viper Niza Racing, Harmony Racing and Modena Motorsports.

Last year’s race winner, Andrew Haryanto, is back in 2024 and racing again with defending race winners, Absolute Racing. Haryanto shares a Porsche 911 GT3 R (Type 992) with Porsche Carrera Cup France champion Dorian Boccolacci and Sri Lanka’s Eshan Pieris.

Sepang is the home circuit for Malaysia’s Viper Niza Racing and the team has entered a Mercedes AMG GT3 with an all-Malaysian driver line-up.

2023 Shanghai 8 Hours winners Yuan Bo, Lu Wei and Leo Ye are on the grid too. Their team, R&B Racing, are the reigning teams’ champion in GT World Challenge Asia.

Among the drivers this year are two men who have won the 12 Hours of Sepang twice.

They are Christopher Haase, who won in 2010 and 2016; and Dominic Ang, who won in 2011 and 2012.

Haase is driving an Audi for Absolute Racing this weekend while Ang is driving the Mercedes for Viper Niza Racing.

New Zealand team FHK Racing by Prime Speed Sport has entered a new Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Evo in the race. The Evo version of the car was only revealed by Aston Martin last month.

Other notable entrants include two-time Le Mans winner Timo Bernhard and Supercars drivers Matt Payne and Ryan Wood.

The history

The 12 Hours of Sepang was originally called the Malaysia Merdeka Millenium endurance race. It was first held in 2000. After that, it became an annual event on the Asian racing calendar.

By the 2010s it was attracting international stars and in 2016 it was included as part of the inaugural Intercontinental GT Challenge, a championship of famous endurance races that also included the Bathurst 12 Hour and 24 Hours of Spa.

But, in 2017, the race was cancelled due to a low number of entries. After this, the 12 Hours of Sepang dropped off the calendar altogether and it was not held for six years.

In 2023, the event was revived by Top Speed and the Sepang International Circuit. The 2023 race was held over eight hours and attracted 13 entries.

Earlier this week, Top Speed’s Cyrille Taesch told Asian Motorsport the 12 Hours of Sepang was “sorely missed and we thought it was really worth giving a try”.

Taesch said the 12 Hours of Sepang is special because “it is recognized as the blue ribbon for endurance racing in South East Asia”.

Driver Alex Liang Jiatong told Asian Motorsport the 12 Hours of Sepang is “one of the most difficult endurance races in Asia”.

Header image credit: 12 Hours of Sepang

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