Tuesday, September 23, 2008

TV crew putting the last Touch beofre the Big Tune-in

TV crew sweat it out to get it right before the eyes of the world tune in this weekend

ORGANISERS expect about 100,000 fans to line the circuit each day of the 2008 Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix.
It is estimated that the global television audience for the Sept 26-28 race weekend will number more than 550 million, validating Bernie Ecclestone’s decision to insist on Singapore hosting a night race.
To ensure the television audience gets the best kind of viewership experience possible, 40 cameras will be located along the 5.1km street circuit in the Marina Bay district.
It is believed that 26 have been permanently installed at various points, while the remaining 14 will be mobile, attached to special cables suspended over the circuit.
There will be a television camera on the 28th floor of the 73-storey SwissĂ´tel the Stamford, which is located at the junction of Stamford Road and Beach Road overlooking Turn Nine of the circuit. Another camera will be on a helicopter to capture aerial shots.
When we visited various sections of the circuit along Esplanade Bridge and Raffles Avenue yesterday, a team from Formula One Management (FOM), the body which controls the rights to media distribution and content of the sport, were seen installing audio-visual equipment.
Ray Ponton, a member of the technical crew on site, explained that 10 days were needed to set up the entire system.

“Because there are no service roads here for us to transport all the equipment, we have to do it in phases,” he said. “We have about five sets of fibre-optic cables spanning about 30km around the circuit. It’s hard work, but we all enjoy what we do.”
Ponton added that they have a crew of about 200 installing the cameras and other audio-visual equipment.
A team of around 30 arrived here on Sept 14 to begin work, and it is expected to be operational by Wednesday, 48 hours before Friday’s two practice sessions.
The first session begins at 7pm, when the 20 cars from the 10 teams on the grid will get their first run on the street circuit.

It will also be the first time the drivers will be piloting their cars on the circuit at night.
They will do 61 laps on the anti-clockwise route, which features 23 turns.
McLaren-Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton currently leads the drivers’ standings by one point from Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and with three races left after Singapore, the outcome here could well go a long way to determining the 2008 world champion.

While Ponton and Co deal with the television equipment, another team from event marketing and exhibition providers Pico Art International will continue to put the finishing touches to the spectator galleries.
By tomorrow, they will complete the final gallery along theSt Andrew’s Road stretch near Turn 10, which can hold up to 1,500 spectators.
Meanwhile, Italian lighting company Valerio Maioli S.p.A. are close to completing tests on the 10,000 specially-designed lamps that will illuminate the race.
We have to clock up to 100 hours to test the system and make sure everything is ready,” said Valerio Maioli yesterday.
I’m very happy we managed to complete all this in such a short space of time.”

Tan Yo-Hinn- Today Paper

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