Amateur Motorsport Cup Promotes Road Safety

Phnom Penh’s hell-raising street racers will enjoy a structured outlet for their love of motorbikes at a new amateur racing cup on Koh Pich island this weekend, a competition also meant to promote compliance with the new traffic law.

The 49-event Kampuchea Autosport Racing Agency Cup Race 2016 will be the first of what the agency hopes will become an annual competition, with purses of $300 for the winners of two automatic-transmission divisions, as well as for manual-clutch, semi-automatic and open class divisions, according to cup organizer Hao Troeung.

“The reason why we create this event is to inspire the amateur rider [so] that hopefully they become professional,” Mr. Troeung said, explaining that anyone with a 110cc to 135cc motorbike, a helmet and full-body protective gear is welcome to show up for Saturday’s qualifying rounds.

“This is the proper place for them to show their talent,” he said.

“We also want to use this event to promote road safety and the new traffic law,” he added. “We’ll ask the MC to do announcements and this kind of thing during the event.”

Phearin Chhorn, who had stopped to watch organizers set up the race course in the Koh Pich Theater parking lot on Friday, said he would return to observe the races.

“I think it’s an amazing program for Cambodians,” he said. “I already see this on TV, but never with my own eyes.”

However, Mr. Chhorn said he was not sure the planned safety lectures were compatible with the event’s high speeds. “We have the positive and the negative come together,” he said.

The event is free to enter and runs from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

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