SEPANG: A Petronas veteran has taken over the reins of Sepang International Circuit (SIC), replacing Datuk Razlan Razali, who has led the organisation for the last 11 years.
Azhan Shafriman Hanif (pic) is the new SIC CEO with effect from today.
Razlan is moving on to lead the Petronas Sepang Racing Team in the Motorcycle Grand Prix Championship (MotoGP).
Azhan Shafriman was previously employed as the strategic alliance chief of Petronas Brand Department. A mechanical engineer by training – majoring in manufacturing and material science, he has been part of the Petronas team for more than 13 years.
Commenting on his new role, Azhan Shafriman said he aims to work with the SIC team to tackle the business shortfall in the short term, strategising the way forward amidst the current economic uncertainties. In the mid-term, he targets to focus on operational excellence, governance and process control, with sustainability efforts and new partnerships being long-term focus areas.
In Petronas, Azhan Shafriman had been tasked with looking for suitable motorsports events to sponsor.
"With the world facing an unprecedented challenge as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, having a strong footing in the commercial side of motorsports will be a good launching point for my tenure at SIC, while I gain a firmer grasp of the operations side of things," said Azhan Shafriman.
The new CEO is expected to oversee the completion of the SIC Master Plan introduced in 2014, which seeks to turn the circuit into Asia's cutting edge sports and edutainment hub – a multifaceted facility that draws repeat visits throughout the year.
About 60% of the initiatives for circuit development detailed in the Master Plan have been executed, including the SIC Motorsport Business Park, enhancement and expansion of facilities such as the construction of a new South Paddock and Paddock Chalets, installation of circuit lights allowing for night racing for the first time.
Upcoming developments include a Driving Experience Centre and off-road circuit, while longer term plans include a drag circuit, hotel and theme park within SIC’s 300-hectare grounds.