Once Upon A Time: Batu Tiga Speedway Circuit #BlogPost

Long before Sepang International Circuit came into existence in 1999, most of Malaysia’s Motorsport events took place at Batu Tiga Speedway Circuit, which was in Shah Alam - the capital city of Selangor.

A Brief History

Batu Tiga Speedway Circuit - also known as Shah Alam Circuit - was designed by John Hugenholtz and opened in 1968, with the first Malaysian Grand Prix won by Indonesian Hengkie Iriawan. From then, it became the venue of the Malaysian Grand Prix until 1982. The last Malaysian Grand Prix held in Shah Alam was held in 1995 for Formula Holden.

Over the years, it had seen a lot of races ranging from open wheeled racing like Formula Atlantic, Formula Pacific, Formula 2, Formula Holden to endurance racing like - most notably - the 1985 Malaysia 800 Selangor World Sportscar Championship, won by Jacky Ickx, who drove a Porsche 962C, although it was a non-points race for teams. There’s also Group A touring car racing to throw into the mix! It was THE PLACE for Malaysian petrolheads - including Dad, who had fond memories of it. Even Jackie Chan’s “Thunderbolt” was filmed here!

In 1977, an accident occured during the Malaysian Grand Prix, killing 5 children. This caused the track to be closed down, although it was re-opened after improvements of fences and guard rails were carried out. In 1983, the track was lengthened from 3.38 km to 3.693 km with the addition of Curve 11 and the first international event was held: the World Sportscar Championship.

In addition to the Malaysian Grand Prix and other forms of motorcar racing, BTSC also hosted rounds of the Superbike World Championship in 1990 and 1991, and from 1991 to 1997, the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix. Mick Doohan is the all-time leader in motorcycle Grand Prix victories at the venue, winning the event four times. Later, the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix moved to Johor Circuit in 1998, before moving again to Sepang International Circuit, which still continued to this day.

The Death of BTSC, 2003.

Ever since the Sepang International Circuit came into existence in 1999, BTSC became outdated. The number of visitors dropped, and no longer do they need to host major races there since Sepang is a much better track. Besides, as Malaysia is constantly developing and her population increasing, there’s a need for more land for more housing.

In 2003, the circuit was sold by Selangor state government to a property developer, which then developed the area into a luxury housing area called D’Kayangan.


It is a shame that BTSC is gone, and not even a single trace of it is left. There’s no grand stand, no paddock, no proof that there was once a very popular race track in Shah Alam. However, all is not lost, as the legendary BTSC is still well alive in the minds and hearts of those whose been there, those whose watched the races, or raced on the track itself. My dad watched several of those races when he was studying in Shah Alam over 30 years ago. Still, as much as I wished they kept BTSC for grassroots motorsports purposes, the ever-growing population demanded more land, and therefore the death of BTSC. It may be gone, but not in the hearts of Malaysian petrolheads.

The Batu Tiga Speedway Circuit Track Details In Brief:

Total Area: 143 acres (0.58 km2)
No. of Pits: 57 units, 42 units concrete pit (22’ x 17’), 15 units wooden pits (22’ x 7’)
Spectator capacity: Covered grandstand - 8000, Uncovered grandstand - 18,000
Track length: 3.38km / 3.69km
No. of Turns: 14. Left -4, Right -10
Straights: 3. The longest straight was 600 meters.
Gate Entrances: 3



I’ve never heard of this track before. Great story!

01/06/2017 - 19:04 |
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In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Thanks! Glad you liked it!

Yeah, it’s a shame that not a single evidence of this track was left. There was barely any records of the races that took place there, such as the Malaysian Grand Prix, for instance, so you can imagine how difficult it was to find information about this legendary race track.

01/07/2017 - 02:13 |
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Nice story!

01/06/2017 - 22:34 |
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In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it!

01/07/2017 - 11:09 |
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CarMonkey 1

It’s a real shame that the motorsport scene in Malaysia is slowly dying. Sprang won’t be holding another F1 race after 2018 and what’s left is MotoGP. Formula E is still in Putrajaya though.

01/07/2017 - 03:21 |
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At least sepang still held many local events

01/07/2017 - 03:26 |
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Well, I still have hopes for Malaysian motorsport scene because there are more racetracks being built at Ipoh and Iskandar Johor, which would be capable of supporting F1 races. Maybe Malaysian GP 2019/2020 would be held at that track in Johor. Still, it’s a bit early to say anything, but here’s hoping!

01/07/2017 - 05:16 |
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Shukri Hashim

Before this i always wonder where did this legendary track location and i was shock right after i read this article because i already went to near shah alam stadium area several times and didn’t expect the track used to be there. If that track still exist probably my car already had experience a track day

01/07/2017 - 03:33 |
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I was going along the Federal Highway next to the former BTSC, and I had the same reaction when my dad pinpointed where it was. Although the Elite Speedway Circuit just before the Exit to USJ is capable of supporting cars like your Iriz, but it’s not like BTSC. Back then, it costs about RM20 to go round it. Now, you go to Sepang and expect to pay about RM50k to rent the track.

Actually, apart from the Johor Circuit in Pasir Gudang, we have a fair amount of Grassroots-style racetrack in Semenanjung Malaysia alone - to name one is at Perak. But yes, I don’t think they’re as epic as BTSC once was.

01/07/2017 - 05:22 |
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Muaz Yusof

It is sad hearing it gone. The only proof it was there is the Batu 3 Shell Petrol Station. When a track day is held, that petrol station is filled with people that try to take on the track.

According to my dad, the track always open for the public every weekend for an affordable fee. It was the only place where low and middle-income petrolheads to get their adrenaline rush. Sepang is too expensive for ordinary petrolheads. If it is still here, our country’s illegal racing problems might not be as severe or worse as it is now.

01/07/2017 - 11:18 |
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great post m8

01/08/2017 - 01:55 |
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Actually the decision of state government to sell the legendary piece of land is just pure evil…driven by money…..

Actually till the day of new land owner demolishing the track, there is still plenty of small event held there consistently…

Sad to think it happens this way when the sultan of selangor himself is pure petrolhead as well…

I wish there is somebody with power in hands stopped them from selling that land in the first place…

So much memory…so much history… I remember watching formula car, gp bike and sillhouette race car live there…

And by the time i gather enough resource to race in this track, it was long gone… Sad.. truly sad

10/04/2018 - 01:53 |
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