Kelly says KL street circuit is toughest

Nissan driver Todd Kelly believes next year’s V8 Supercars race in Malaysia is bound to have plenty of incidents after experiencing the Kuala Lumpur street circuit.

Kelly was one of five V8 drivers who travelled to south-east Asia last week to compete in two races at the KL City Grand Prix.

The 35-year-old won the second race and says he hasn’t raced on as tough a street circuit as the one in Kuala Lumpur.

“It made the Gold Coast and Homebush street tracks look like a walk in the park in terms of the bravery required to do a fast lap,” Kelly said.

“A lot of the corners are quite high-speed, fourth gear sweeping corners.

“Some of them have pretty big bumps in them so it was an absolute blast to put a good lap together, bring the car home in one piece and also be the fastest in qualifying.

“It’s going to be pretty interesting having a full field of cars there next year.”

The four-year deal to race in Kuala Lumpur from 2016 onwards is the latest foray by V8 Supercars internationally.

Previous trips to the United States, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and China have only been sustained for a couple of years with New Zealand the only overseas destination that has managed to hold down a long-term relationship with V8s.

Track conditions in Malaysia caused concern with Australian safety inspector and former racer Tim Schenken only giving the okay for racing at the circuit just hours before Holden’s Craig Lowndes drove a few cautious laps in torrential rain.

However, V8 Supercars chief executive James Warburton believes the venture to Malaysia was successful and he’s eager to see what happens when the championship returns there properly in 2016.

“The one thing that is not to our standard is pit lane. There’s a clear understanding that we would need that or we wouldn’t be here,” Warburton told Fairfax Media.

“They haven’t built that this time around, but this is really a proof of concept.

“Part two is about improving the event for next year … it’s going to be an amazing spectacle.”

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