SEPANG INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT SEES CHANGE OF CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER AFTER MORE THAN 11 YEARS
SEPANG, Wednesday, 8 April 2020 - Sepang International Circuit (SIC) welcomed Azhan Shafriman Hanif as its new Chief Executive Officer today following the completion of Dato’ Razlan Razali’s tenure as CEO on 7 April 2020. No stranger to the motorsports sector, Shafriman is moving to SIC from his previous role as Head of Strategic Alliance in 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.
Learning about the motorsports sector from PETRONAS leaders and industry captains, Shafriman spearheaded the sponsorship unit at PETRONAS over the past decade, focusing on motorsports platforms. This enabled him to amass a wealth of experience in activating motorsports sponsorships and strategic partnerships with OEMs from a corporate perspective, monitoring and evaluating talent development performance in both 2-wheel and 4-wheel motorsports and creating branding exposure through motorsports sponsorship platforms in the F1, MotoGP and Cub Prix. In recent years, PETRONAS has gained global prominence as the title sponsor and technical partner for the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team, and is also now the official fuel supplier for Moto2 and Moto3 in the MotoGP World Championship – a significant recognition of PETRONAS’ Fluid Technology Solutions for the demanding global motorsports arena.
Commenting on his appointment, Shafriman said, “It is a great honour to be entrusted with this job. Dato’ Razlan has left big shoes to fill, but I believe I can offer a unique perspective in this role, following my years at PETRONAS. With the world facing an unprecedented challenge due to 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. Nevertheless, in my previous role in PETRONAS, I have had the privilege to provide feedback to SIC on its facilities and amenities – thus offering another starting point for me at SIC while I familiarise myself with a hands-on role as CEO.”
Shafriman said he aims to work with the 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. “During this period, it is crucial to look at harvesting the low hanging fruits by prioritising the right focus areas and executing the best strategy we have. We need to set clear joint objectives, and seek the best outcome to achieve it.”
Meanwhile, Tan Sri Azman Yahya, Chairman of Sepang International Circuit expressed confidence that Shafriman would lead the team to success in taking the circuit to greater heights, building upon the achievements of the past years.
“Shafriman is someone capable and passionate, and well-versed in the ins and outs of the motorsports world. We will use the foundation laid by Dato’ Razlan Razali during his tenure as CEO to further develop the circuit from strength to strength. Across more than 11 years, Dato’ Razlan made a tremendous impact on the circuit with his deep and unrelenting enthusiasm for motorsports and his unflagging passion and dedication to always doing more. We are grateful for his contributions.”
As CEO, Shafriman will oversee the completion of the SIC Master Plan activated 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 in the near future 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.
A new chapter for Sepang International Circuit
The passing of the baton closes a chapter for the circuit as well as for Dato’ Razlan, who has been at the helm for 11.5 years since his appointment on 8 October 2008. Moving forward, Dato’ Razlan will be focusing full time on his role and responsibilities as the Team Principal of PETRONAS Sepang Racing Team in the Motorcycle Grand Prix Championship (MotoGP). By taking on the role full time, Dato’ Razlan will be able to focus on strengthening activation and engagement with sponsors, attracting new sponsors, improving the team’s function as a platform for Malaysians to compete in the MotoGP, and also strengthening the team’s corporate governance.
“It has been an amazing journey leading the Sepang International Circuit team. What we have achieved in the past decade is truly a team effort – it would not have been possible without the full support and commitment of not just the team at SIC, but also from our partners and stakeholders. Although I will still be around as the Team Principal of PETRONAS Sepang Racing Team, I am definitely going to miss working alongside the SIC team. I wish them and the new CEO great success,” Dato’ Razlan said.