Thursday, March 19, 2009

Winning names for Singapore GP turns Announced

The winning names for the Marina Bay Circuit: Sheares, Memorial and Singapore Sling

THE names “Sheares”, “Memorial” and “Singapore Sling” will be on the tip of Formula 1 fans’ tongues here and around the world come September, at the second Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix.

Turn 1 of the Marina Bay street circuit after the start-finish straight has been named Sheares, after the Benjamin Sheares Bridge which runs over it.
Turn 7, the scene of many a thrilling overtaking manoeuvre near the War Memorial, will now be known as Memorial. And the tricky chicane that is the 10th corner has been christened Singapore Sling.

The response to the It’s Your Turn at the Singapore Grand Prix contest, a joint effort by race organisers Singapore GP and Today, was overwhelming. Readers and Formula 1 fans from around the globe were invited to submit their suggested names, and we saw entries coming in from as far away as Spain, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Canada.

Only those who adhered to the rules and conditions made the final round of judging, with contestants’ reasons for the names they suggested taken into account. The panel of six judges met yesterday to pick the three best names to christen Turns 1, 7 and 10 and had to sift through a pool of 1,440 entries.

After a blind vote, the three winners came from Singapore. The top prize of two grandstand tickets, a pitlane walk and a two-night stay at a trackside hotel during the Formula 1 2009 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix from Sept 25 to 27 went to wedding card designer Arthur Lim.

Showcasing Singapore

Lim’s suggestion for Turn 1, a nod to Singapore’s second President Benjamin Sheares, the bridge named after him, and the fact that the name hints of “speed and smoothness”, won the judges over.

Memorial, suggested by Ngee Ann Polytechnic lecturer Chan Kwan Yew, proved a winning entry because of its simplicity, ease of pronunciation and its ties to the past. “It is a significant site, honouring the victims of the Second World War,” Chan noted of the corner near the War Memorial.

The most talked about and challenging corner of the Marina Bay circuit last September was Turn 10. Fittingly, the judges spent the most time deliberating that turn.

Most entries zeroed in on the fact that the old Parliament House and the former Supreme Court overlook the tricky chicane, with Judgment Day, Justice Trap, Supremo and the Court among the better suggestions. But the judges considered the difficulty of negotiating the first of three twists and decided on Singapore Sling, submitted by Foo Say Boon.

Simon Rock, managing director of Performance Motors and one of the judges, said the first two turns were Singapore-centric and offered an opportunity to tell the world something about the country.

“Singapore Sling, on the other hand, is known internationally and fans everywhere can relate to it instantly,” explained the Briton.

“It says more about the turn. Drivers have to be careful here, but it can serve as a slingshot if they tackle it well.”

Rock’s fellow judge Colin Syn, deputy chairman of Singapore GP, said he was impressed by the quality and creativity of the entries. He said: “Throughout the intensely engaging judging process, the panel deliberated for over three hours to arrive at an acceptable shortlist.

“Getting to the eventual winners was a tough task, but in the end, the panel was in accord on the final winners.”

The other judges on the panel were Today Sports Editor Leonard Thomas, Singapore Motor Sports Association president Tan Teng Lip, STPB F1 project director Leong Yue Kheong and former racer Lee Chiu San.

How will it sound on TV?

When contacted yesterday, Lim could not contain his excitement when he learnt he had won the top prize. He told Today he had rehearsed in front of his wife several times before submitting his entry for Turn 1.

“I wanted to make sure it would come off nicely from the tongue of a TV commentator and that it will be easy on the ear,” said the 37-year-old father of two.
“Sheares is also an historic name because it is the name of our second President, but it can easily be used to describe cars cutting through the turns.”

Chan and Foo, the other two winners, each won a pair of grandstand tickets and a pitlane walk for the Singapore Grand Prix. All winners will be contacted by Singapore GP on how to collect their prizes.

====And the winners are:

====Turn 1: Sheares — Arthur Lim

====Turn 7: Memorial — Chan Kwan Yew

====Turn 10: Singapore Sling — Foo Say Boon

Ian De Cotta

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