Thursday, August 16, 2007

Road works for F1 Singapore Grand Prix to start next month

The process to get the street circuit ready for the inaugural Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix has been set in motion.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) plans to begin road works sometime next month, once the race route is confirmed. The works will include the construction of a 1.2 km road that will form the eastern section of the circuit, a new underpass and service road for vehicles and pedestrians, widening a stretch of the promenade in Marina Bay, widening a section of Raffles Boulevard from Nicoll Highway to Temasek Avenue and modifying existing road kerbs and traffic islands.

Some of the works will have to conform to the design and construction of the Paddock building that will house the control tower, garages for the teams, hospitality lounges, Press Room and other facilities.

This milestone comes after three months of intense planning by various government agencies with the race promoter, Singapore GP Pte Ltd, since Singapore announced that it will host the world’s third most-watched sporting event from next year.

The date of the first Singapore Grand Prix has been set for 28 September 2008.

The 5.05 km long street circuit offers a number of overtaking opportunities, fast turns and technically challenging sections for F1 race drivers, and will cover more than 70 per cent of Singapore’s existing road network.

Mr Lim Neo Chian, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive of the Singapore Tourism Board, who chairs the event’s working committee, said he is pleased that planning for the F1 Singapore Grand Prix is progressing well.

He revealed that the proposed street circuit has been refined and plans have been submitted to the FIA, the international governing body for motorsports, for its assessment and endorsement.

"Concurrently, we are combing through the details for the rest of the infrastructure works, such as finalising the design concept and construction schedule of the Paddock building. We are confident that both the circuit and Paddock building will be officially endorsed very soon," he added.

Mr Colin Syn, deputy chairman of Singapore GP, said that while the track layout “hasn’t changed dramatically” from what was originally released, over the past two months the circuit has developed from a couple of lines sketched on a map into something that resembles a proper racetrack, with all the attendant infrastructure marked in.

The project team is working within a timeframe of less than 16 months to put in place the necessary infrastructure for the 2008 race. - CNA/sf

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