With Brunei Darussalam in the Endemic Phase, social activities are making a return and organisations are again holding events.
Among the activities on hold during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic were motorsports such as go-kart.
With restrictions lifted, the Brunei Darussalam Go-Kart Association (PGBD) is making a comeback with races on weekends.
PGBD administrator Noor Effendy bin Metussin told the Bulletin that the association was founded in 2011 to cater to go-kart enthusiasts. It pledged to develop the sport in the Sultanate to high standards with adherence to world karting rules and regulations.
The association began with 70 registered karters and over 100 members. It’s first race was held in December 2011 and in 2012, a national level Brunei Darussalam Karting Championship (BDKC) was organised.
With races, PGBD raises awareness of motorsports in the country and let go-kart drivers showcase their skills.
Noor Effendy said after a hiatus due to the pandemic, the association elected a new committee led by President Pengiran Mustapa bin Pengiran Haji Besar, Vice President Haji Abdul Rahim bin Haji Imran, Secretary Haji Md Yusri bin Haji Abu Bakar and Treasurer Mohamad Rhyme bin Bakri.
Noor Effendy said karting is a sport for people of all ages. “We normally organise clinics for new karters and once completed, we will assess which licence/category they will be in,” he said.
Noor Effendy said among his best go-karting experiences was a race in the capital in 2013.
He recounted that he started the race at the back with 19 racers ahead of him and he managed to inch close to the top five but eventually fell back and finished in the 13th place. He said it was a good learning experience that taught him that goals can be reached with discipline and determination.
The Bulletin also interviewed Pengiran Mustapa who shared his vision to bring back the glory days of go-karting in Brunei before the pandemic. He also seeks to introduce the motorsport to the younger generation and scout for new talents to follow the footsteps of local racers Haji Harith bin Pehin Haji Abdul Aziz, Jeffery Suresh and Ong Chee Mang who represented the Sultanate on international races.
Pengiran Mustapa shared his plans to organise more races, possibly at district level, and have annual events.
He said motorsports development programmes are needed at grassroots level to produce talented racers. He hopes the authorities can provide a go-kart circuit to promote the sport locally and also bring in international racers which will indirectly boost tourism.
Noor Effendy also added that PGBD is working on BDKC 2023.