The Fast and the Furious
TPC Kuala Lumpur is one of Malaysia’s premier golfing destinations. During the early days of August, however, the club was home to a decidedly faster and louder attraction in the inaugural Ultimate Drives, presented by Robb Report Malaysia in association with Hong Leong Private Banking.
The purpose of this event was made clear to anyone arriving at the club: curled up under the covered lobby drop-off area were the ten mechanical stars of the show. The line-up represented the best of currently available vehicles; a varied assemblage that ran the gamut of lean sports cars, athletic grand tourers, sharp sedans and stately SUVs.
The event’s invitees would get to try each one. Under the expert guidance Admi Shahrul and his team from Pole Position Racing School, guests would take the wheel as part of a convoy and hit the roads of the planned route.
First up were the manicured passages around the golf club, with stretches of cobblestone and gentle chicanes that were ideal for familiarising oneself with the vehicle’s handling. Then comes the exit to Jalan Bukit Kiara, which must be one of Kuala Lumpur’s most picturesque motorways — tree-lined with verdant hills and, an open and inviting stretch of road that presented the first chance to cut loose.
This gives way to the Penchala tunnel — which, to some, was an opportunity to crack the window and savour the sweet singing of the engine they were just getting to know. The U-turn after that was an opportunity to really floor it, pushing the powerplant to the limit for a few glorious seconds. After a second bout of the symphonic tunnel, it was a gentle ride back to the club, where guests would move on to the next car and begin the route again.
The route took about 20 minutes, which means over three hours of spirited driving. Luckily, guests could retreat to the club’s main lobby — a spacious, high-ceilinged hall that was the perfect place to unwind. It had a glorious view of the golfing grounds, with a patio scattered with outdoor appointments from Linds Furniture with Magis Spun chairs, and the modish style of Stellar Works.
Guests could discuss their recent experiences while grabbing a bite to eat, with free-flow drinks in the form of Volvic or Evian mineral waters, Badoit sparkling water, or Nespresso coffees. Those who had definitively concluded their driving could help themselves to Perrier-Jouet champagnes, Martell Cordon Bleu and also a dram or two of The Glenlivet 18 Year Old.
Of course, there were plenty of other things that would hold the interest of the well-heeled guests. A barber from Gentlemen’s Tonic offered complimentary facials or wet shaves. The self-playing Steinway Spirio Model B-211 grand piano (RM659,500) from Steinway & Sons suffused the area with minutely accurate reproductions of recitals from the world’s finest players. A more focussed audiophile experience was available from Linn, with a setup that includes the British brand’s iconic Klimax LP12 turntable (RM100,000) and Klimax audio system and speakers (RM350,000). Exclusive properties the Emerald Hills and DC Residensi projects piqued the interest of the real estate-minded. Those more at home on the water perused the scale models from Azimut Yachts, which included the 21-metre Azimut 66 (starting at €2.75 million).
This, then, was the backdrop as the afternoon driving sessions came to a close, the cars were rested and refuelled, and the cocktails began flowing — a party with entertainment and exhibits in a relaxed and beautiful setting, the capstone to a day of motoring excitement.