Photos courtesy of PerfectEdge Photography
Launching their drifting foray with the Westlake tyre brand, Lam Seng Hang Co. Pte Ltd is investing in a substantial motorsports campaign, confident that motorsports is the ideal platform for showcasing the abilities of tyres. Lam Seng Hang is a trading company and is the regional tyre distributor for Westlake in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Brunei, Mymmar, Cambodia and India.
Starting with a drifting team first, Team Westlake Tyres was formed last year with just two drifters – Winston Ang from Singapore and Ser Ming Hui (Ah Fai) of Malaysia. Expanding the team this year, Ang remains and is joined by rookie Geoveen Hi of Singapore, as well as Lim Kim Wan (D Wan) and Low Swee Hwa (Rocker).
Drifting in the Southeast Asian region has certainly picked up greatly in both the sporting and commercial aspects, with professional drift series Formula Drift Asia heading into the direction of the “Formula 1 of drifting”. Tyre brands are one of the more endemic sponsors in drifting worldwide and it is very encouraging to see Singaporean company Lam Seng Hang jump on the bandwagon and do their part to help grow motorsports in Singapore and Asia.
Alex Chua, marketing manager of the tyre division at Lam Seng Hang, reveals more…
Q: What made LSH decide to engage in motorsports sponsorship?
A: We believe it is one of the best marketing tools for the tyre business. It helps to enhance image and shape consumer attitudes toward Westlake tyres. Basically, if Chinese tyres can be used for drifting under extreme performance levels, then it should be very safe for normal vehicle usage. At the same time, the wide exposure in broadcast, print and electronic media will heighten visibility of the brand and create positive publicity. All these collectively form an effort to drive sales.
Q: What are the 2012 motorsports plans?
A: We are sponsoring a regional drift team (Team Westlake Tyres), a Malaysian drift series (Westlake Drift Series), a drift clinic in Singapore (Team Westlake Drift Clinic) and automotive events such as Super Import Nights of Singapore.
We expanded our driver base for the team and they will be taking part in the four-round Formula Drift Asia series, as well as in the Westlake Drift Series and Racepod Federation D Drift Series. We may be sending one driver to the World Drift Series in China too.
Q: Exciting! How much was pumped in for all that?
A: We are putting in about S$200,000.
Q: What’s next after 2012?
A: Should the results be good and we achieve our KPIs, we will carry on with our motorsports programme. The team will be expanded further and the plan is to have at least two drivers each from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.
Q: What’s the vision?
A: Our vision with regard to motorsports is to build up the team first and have the drifters participate in different regions so as to let Team Westlake Tyres have a presence wherever there is drifting.
Q: What do you think of the Asian drifting scene and how would you like to see it to develop?
A: I hope there can be a ‘World Cup’ series for driftng. For example, at the end of each year, the top drifters from all over – USA, Japan, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and more – gather and compete in this world domination cup. I believe it will be a championship that everyone will look forward to.
Q: What do you think of the Singaporean drifting scene and how do you hope to see it improve?
A: The cost of drifting in Singapore is too expensive due to various factors from the high costs of car ownership, strict regulations for cars, lack of a motorsport facility, lack of commercial support and more. The only way for our local drifters to improve, I feel, is to get acknowledgement and support from the authorities.
Show your support to Team Westlake Tyres at Formula Drift Singapore next!