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The Singapore SingTel Formula 1 Grand Prix

May 18th, 2009 by

Formula 1Asian racing car lovers rejoice! Singapore will continue to host the SingTel Formula 1 Grand Prix, which will take place in the streets of Marina Bay once more. It will occur in the Marina Bay Street Circuit, a 5.1-kilometer long harbor side track, more than 70% of which is made up of existing road network. The race itself will happen between the 25th and 27th of September 2009. The race is so popular that early bird tickets, where up to 50% of the available grandstand seats and passes are sold at an average of 15% discount of regular prices, have sold out mere days after it was made available early this year. A total of 72,000 tickets will be released.

The pit area of the Marina Bay Circuit will be located in an empty lot of the land off Republic Boulevard, right besides the Singapore Flyer. The track then goes onto the Anderson Bridge, past the Fullerton Hotel and takes a tight right turn to Esplanade Drive besides the Merlion Park. It joins Raffles Avenue, goes past The Float, then returns to the pit area via a temporary road. The Paddock Building houses the control tower, 36 garages for the teams, hospitality lounges designed to accommodate 4,000 attendees, media center, winner’s podium and other facilities.

Last year’s SingTel Grand Prix race was attended by 100,000 spectators, 40% of which were tourists. Racing aficionados were thrilled at the only night-time Formula 1 race in the world and Asia’s first street-circuit race went to a spectacular start, as the circuit lights turned night into day and vehicles sped along the precisely-designed roads. These pinnacles of automotive engineering resembled caged leopards bolting to freedom as they accelerate out of their paddocks, screaming joyously into the night. The 2009 SingTel Grand Prix will repeat the glory and the drama all over again, with month-long festivities  leading the island-nation up to race night. A majority of these will take place in Circuit Park, like concerts, comedy acts, historic car displays, dancing, and much more.

To prepare for racing season, bring comfortable walking shoes and suntan lotion. You can buy a poncho in case it rains, but safety regulations prohibit bringing in an umbrella within the park. Other prohibited items include bulky equipment like folding chairs, weapons and dangerous objects, pets and your own food and beverages. Due to the high volume of traffic expected and limited parking space, it is recommended that you take the public transportation, and plan which taxi, subway, or shuttle bus to take which will get you to your gate.

It seems every mall in the island has a replica Formula 1 vehicle for fans to admire. Even Changi International Airport gets in the racing spirit by presenting The Ultimate Racing Sensation, a roadshow which features life-sized track simulators and racing game consoles on display. All airport visitors can enjoy the free multi-sensory ride, which will be set up on different dates in Terminal 1, 2, and 3 as well as the budget terminal. And in anticipation of the noise the race will generate – with each car capable of reaching 130 decibels at full throttle – some establishments, like the Fullerton Hotel, have installed sound-reducing equipment like double-glazing to keep their resting clients happy.

The Float

Marina Bay has other things to offer during the non-racing season. The Marina Bay Floating Platform, or The Float, as it more commonly called, is the world’s largest floating stage. Measuring 120 meters by 83 meters, this entirely-steel structure has a seating capacity of 30,000 spectators, and is built for marine events in the waters of the bay, such as sports, exhibitions, and the annual National Day parade. The Singapore Flyer, currently the world’s tallest observation wheel, provides a very high vantage point to the action come race night. Though they decided not to hike up prices nor reserve the pods for corporate shindigs, you do need an F1 ticket to take a ride.

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