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Q&A: Shippy reflects on Kuala Lumpur

From Queensland Raceway straight to Kuala Lumpur, Lowndesy’s engineer Grant ‘Shippy’ McPherson hasn’t been in one place for too long – luckily we managed to track him down and get his thoughts on what the KL City Grand Prix was like from his perspective.

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It’s been a few years since V8 Supercars last visited an Asian circuit, how was it to be back and how did it stack up to previous visits?

As with every overseas trip it’s a great opportunity to experience new circuits, new people and new cultures. Even though it wasn’t as hot as Bahrain the humidity was a big factor and that meant even a relaxed race meeting was pretty hard work.

In the interest of fair play V8’s restricted the use of data for the five cars attending, it must have been fun going back to the old-school ways, but some challenges in there too?

Craig and I communicate quite well at race meetings so it didn’t limit our ability to tune the car too much, but it did eliminate any chance of verifying driver comments with any data being collected.

What are your thoughts on the circuit and how does it compare to other street tracks around Australia?

The Kuala Lumpur City Circuit has a lot of character. There are some very unique corners and the road camber and elevation change really stand it apart from the other tracks we race on. The 90-degree corners are quite typical of most street circuits, but the speed and bumps particularly through Turn 12 make that one an interesting corner.

With less pressure and less track time than we’re used to, did you have much time to explore some of the sights and sounds of Kuala Lumpur?

We did get the chance to explore the city at night which was a great experience. For me I’ll have to say it was the local cuisine at the Street Food market which was a highlight. The Petronas Towers which overlook the track are also a pretty awesome sight to take in.

What are you most looking forward to about going back to KL?

This circuit will be a big challenge for the drivers and crew when we have a full race meeting. But this will certainly be a terrific circuit for hard racing. Qualifying will really push the drivers to their limit and racing on this track will really test their fitness as well as concentration.