Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Singapore promise to stage a Breathtaking Formula 1 race

The Singapore F1 Grand Prix scheduled for Sept 28 will not only be the biggest sporting event hosted by the republic but it will also be a much anticipated and much talked about affair.

It is set to make history as the first-ever night race in F1 history and also the first street race in Asia.

The motorsports governing body, the FIA, gave the in-principle approval to Singapore recently for a proposed 5.067km that will offer multiple overtaking opportunities and challenging turns.

In a media briefing yesterday to coincide with the go-ahead from the FIA, the organisers positioned the event as the “Monaco of the East” and the circuit will be public roads around the Marina Bay area.

The race will take the drivers along Singapore’s historical landmarks, including the 100-year-old Anderson Bridge and the Raffles Boulevard. And what’s more unique is the setting up of a state-of-the-art lighting system.

Tests have been conducted at the Paul Ricard High Tech test track in Le Castellet, France, last October to study the system under real racing conditions.

And deputy chairman of Singapore GP, Colin Syn, promised that they would stage a breathtaking inaugural race for people to remember for a long time.

“We want it to be the highlight of the social calendar in Singapore as well as across Asia,” he said.

“There is a big difference between Singapore and Monaco, which is another street circuit. Our track will be much wider and faster offering more overtaking opportunities.”

Colin said that the lighting was designed to only shine from one side of the track.

“”This is to prevent the drivers from being disorientated in cases of spinning. The run-off areas will also be brighter than the track.

“The street circuit is no different from the evaluation FIA do on other tracks. In fact, it is stricter because they have to ensure the track is safe before granting us the licence,” he said.

Colin added that work on installing the lighting system was expected to begin three months before the event.

By LIM TEIK HUAT ( The Star Newspaper, Malaysia)

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