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Entries for August 2007

31
Motor sports such as the FIA Formula One World Championship have captured the imagination of millions of racing enthusiasts worldwide. (Photo credit: John Matthew Alexander, Singapore Tourism Board)
 
As we gear up for the third edition of the FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX, the world’s first Formula 1 night race, TPT decides to enlighten those outside of the racing fraternity by providing a brief guide to the various prominent motor sports.
 
Formula 1 
 
Widely acknowledged as the pinnacle race of motor sports, the FIA Formula One World Championship, more commonly known as Formula 1, is the highest class of single seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).
 
The "formula" in the name refers to a set of rules to which all participants' cars must comply. The Formula 1 season consists of a series of races, each known as a Grand Prix, held either on purpose-built circuits or public roads.
 
The results of each race are combined to determine two annual World Championships, one for the drivers and one for the constructors. With speeds of up to 360 km/h, and engines revving up to a formula imposed limit of 18,000 rpm, the Formula 1 race cars are capable of withstanding high gravitational forces when making sharp turns and corners.
 
Jensen Button, a British Formula One driver currently signed to Formula 1 race team Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, is the reigning Formula 1 World Drivers' Champion. However, he is facing stiff competition from his team mate Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.
 
MotoGP
 
MotoGP is the premier championship of motorcycle road racing currently divided into three distinct classes: 125cc, Moto2 (600cc) andMotoGP (800cc).
 
MotoGP motorcycles are purpose-built racing machines that are neither available for purchase by the general public nor can be ridden legally on public roads. This contrasts with the various production categories of racing, such as the Superbike World Championship that feature modified versions of road-going motorcycles available to the public.
 
One of the current stars of MotoGP is Valentino Rossi. The Italian, who is the reigning Riders' Champion, is one of the most successful motorcycle racers of all time, with nine Grand Prix World Championships to his name.
 
NASCAR
 
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR), headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida, is a family-owned and -operated business venture that sanctions and governs multiple auto racing sports events.
 
NASCAR is the largest sanctioning body of stock car racing in the United States. The three largest racing series sanctioned by NASCAR are the Sprint Cup Series, the Nationwide Series, and the Camping World Truck Series. It also oversees NASCAR Local Racing, the Whelen Modified Tour, the Whelen All-American Series, and the NASCAR iRacing.com Series.
 
The "NASCAR Sprint Cup Series" is the sport's highest level of professional competition. It is consequently the most popular and most profitable NASCAR series. The 2009 Sprint Cup season consists of 36 races over 10 months. Writers and fans often use "Cup" to refer to the Sprint Cup series and the ambiguous use of "NASCAR" as a synonym for the Sprint Cup Series is common.
 
One of the most successful drivers in NASCAR history is Jimmie Johnson, a four-time unprecedented NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion who is the 2009 Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press, 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver of the year, as well as being considered as 2000's "Best Driver of the Decade".
 
Karting
 
Kart racing, also known as Karting, is a variant of open-wheel motor sports with small, open, four-wheeled vehicles called karts, go-karts, or gearbox/shifter karts depending on the design. They are usually raced on scaled-down circuits.
 
Karting is commonly perceived as the stepping stone to the higher and more expensive ranks of motorsports such as Formula 1 and NASCAR. KF1 is the top classification of karting and drivers participating in the World KF1 Championship and the European KF1 Championship race in karts going as fast as 140 km/h.
 
Many former Formula 1 World Championship drivers grew up racing karts, most prominent among them Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Räikkönen, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton. Many NASCAR drivers also got their start in racing from karts, such as Darrell Waltrip, Lake Speed, Ricky Rudd, Juan Pablo Montoya, Tony Stewart, and Jeff Gordon.
 
Drifting
 
Drifting refers to a driving technique and to a motor sport where the driver intentionally over steers, causing loss of traction in the rear wheels through turns, while maintaining vehicle control and a high exit speed.
 
A car is drifting when the rear slip angle is greater than the front slip angle prior to the corner apex, and the front wheels are pointing in the opposite direction to the turn (e.g. car is turning left, wheels are pointed right or vice versa), and the driver is controlling these factors.
 
Drifting has evolved into a competitive sport where drivers compete mostly in rear wheel drive cars, and occasionally all wheel drive cars, to earn points from judges based on various factors. At the top levels of competition, the D1 Grand Prix from Japan has pioneered the sport and the Formula Drift Championship has been gaining popularity among drifting fans in the US. Other professional drifting competitions are also held worldwide.
 

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30
 
The past two editions of the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, spectators were enthralled by the exciting displays of world-class motorsports action as high-speed drama unfolded before their very eyes. The sights, sounds and racing experience is simply breathtaking. Race machines tearing down our streets at break-neck speed overtaking and maneuvering in the heart of our buzzing metropolis is a sight to behold.
 
Audiences from all over the world will also e mesmerised by international entertainment acts while being treated to unrivalled hospitality services. The Singapore Grand Prix has always prided itself as being much more than a motor race, and even more so this year.
 
The 2010 FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX will reach new heights in fun and entertainment with a slew of exhilarating activities and race-themed events to complement the world’s only Formula 1 night race, which will be taking place from 24 to 26 September 2010. Expect a motorsports extravaganza that will fuel high-octane excitement and glamour around the Marina Bay circuit.
 
Organised by the Singapore Tourism Board as part of its new brand campaign YourSingapore, the Grand Prix Season Singapore (GPSS) will feature a spectacular concert by a stellar line-up of renowned artists including Mariah Carey, Missy Elliot, Daughtry and Adam Lambert, who will be rocking the mega stage set at the Padang.
 
Visit the GPSS Soundpark, filled with interactive media and designer sound-scapes, which offers a larger-than-life music experience with the biggest DJ console in Singapore, and probably the world. Partake in the moment of glory when you get the chance to lift the FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX replica trophy by Royal Selangor and fulfill your need for speed when you get into the DHL race car simulator for the ride of your life!
 
What’s more, Crave Singapore! gathers the best culinary talents and award-winning restaurants for a 12-day gastronomic festival. Be prepared to embark on the most unique culinary crusade ever!
 
And, with several high-profile parties slated to kick off at local signature clubs such as Zouk, St James Power Station, Butter Factory and Stereolab, F1 fans can look forward to an exciting nightlife featuring international DJs who will rev up the party atmosphere.
 
With so much happening this September, get ready to have a blast as things get loud on and off the track!
 

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30
Singapore racing ace Ringo Chong posing alongside his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car.
 
From a boy who took part in local car park rallies to a top notch race driver who has achieved numerous podium finishes on both local and foreign soil, Ringo Chong is flying the Singapore flag up high in the motorsports scene. TPT managed to catch up with the racing ace to find out more about his racing experiences, future career plans, and his views on the upcoming Changi Motorsports Hub.  
 
1) Share with us some of your most memorable experiences as a race car driver.
 
Winning last year’s Aston Martin Asia Cup round in Singapore was the happiest moment in my entire racing career. I lived my entire life on that childhood dream - that one day I will win in my home race!
 
2) You were the first local to win the Aston Martin Asia Cup round at the Marina Bay circuit in Singapore last year. How do you view your chances of winning the Porsche Carrera Cup round at the same venue this year?
 
I will be trying my very best but it's not easy with limited budget for the season and not much practice in the Carrera cup car.
 
I need a good engineer, and I’m training very hard to drive faster, but all these preparations cost money and time. Well, this is racing and while every car has its little tricks, the more you race in it, the faster you will be.
 
3) With the third edition of the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix coming up and with the arrival of the Changi Motorsports Hub, do you think the local motorsports industry is peaking at the right time?
 
Yes, it is climbing upwards and with the presence of F1 in Singapore, it has created lots of awareness for motorsports among the local public.
 
I am as excited as any motorsports enthusiast who is waiting for the Changi Motorsports Hub to materialise. I grew up racing in Singapore car park rallies when I first started so I am already dreaming of weekend track days.
 
4) What are your future career plans in motorsports racing?
 
To me, racing is not a career anymore as I do it mostly out of passion and for the love for driving! I will try to get the support I need to continue driving as long as I can and when the permanent track is here, I would love to share what I have done all these years with the younger generation of racers so that they can continue to fly our flag up high!
 

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30
Photo: BMW Motorsport and Richard Bradley Media
 
Singapore-based ace karter Richard Bradley is making waves in the local and regional motorsport scene. Competing in the Formula BMW Pacific Championship this season, Richard is currently leading the Drivers’ Championship and Rookie Cup.
 
Making the transition from racing karts to single-seaters when he moved to Singapore at the end of last year, Richard last raced in a kart last November. He made a return to kart racing in June this year at the opening round of the Asian Open Karting Championship (AKOC) where he clinched pole position before going on to win all three heats, the pre-final as well as the final at the Formula 125 Senior class of AKOC. Richard races proudly under the Singapore flag as his race license was issued by the Singapore Motor Sport Association.
 
We got the opportunity to speak to him about his career experiences and ambitions, as well as his participation in the upcoming Singapore Grand Prix.
 
1.               Share with us some of the highlights of your journey so far.
 
This is my first year racing in Formula cars, having raced in karts since I was eight. The biggest highlight so far is winning my first two car races at the opening round of the (Formula BMW Pacific) season where I qualified on pole, led the race from start to finish, won both races and set the fastest lap time ever in a Formula BMW for the Sepang International Circuit. Also, the feeling of winning at an F1 race (Formula BMW was a support race to the F1 Malaysian Grand Prix) was incredulous!
 
As for my kart racing career, I’ve raced at KF1 (Karting Formula 1), the highest level of kart racing. Since I first karted at the age of eight, I’ve won numerous titles, including the 2008 British Open Championship. I became the youngest ever winner of a Formula A S1 MSA British Kart Championship round at the age of 15 years and 8 months and had three Top 6 finishes in the 2009 CIK FIA Super KF1 European Championship. In addition, I was a CIK-FIA sponsored young driver in the 2009 CIK-FIA Super KF1 World Cup and CIK-FIA Super KF1 World Championship.
 
2.        What do you hope to achieve out of your motorsports career?
 
I am aiming to win the Formula BMW Pacific championship this year, before moving on to secure a seat in Formula 3 next year. As with all professional sports, sponsorship support is important as we go up the ladder. With the right level of technical and commercial support, I hope to get to the highest level of motor racing and be in Formula 1 within the next five years.
 
3.        In September you will be driving right here on home ground at the Singapore Grand Prix. How do you feel about it?
 
I am really excited about getting to drive on home ground in front of the Singaporean crowd. The lights are already being set up now and I’m looking forward to the race. It will be my first time driving on a street circuit and I hope to fly the Singapore flag high at the top of the podium that weekend. I will do my best to achieve a good performance and do Singapore proud.
 

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30
An artist’s impression of the Changi Motorsports Hub
 
Come the beginning of 2012, motorsports enthusiasts in Singapore will not need to travel overseas for a spin around the track as a new motorsports playground will be awaiting them at the eastern tip of the island.
 
Known as the Changi Motorsports Hub, this motorsports facility is poised to become Asia’s premier racing destination, creating vibrant business and entertainment opportunities. SG Changi is the company behind Singapore's first permanent motor racing track.
 
With a proposed 3.7 kilometre race track designed by renowned track specialists from Japan, this S$330 million development is able to house 20,000 spectators in the main grandstand and will have additional temporary seating capacity in excess of 10,000. Spectators will be offered seamless view of the entire race from the start to the finish from all viewing platforms.
 
One of the main focuses of the Changi Motorsports Hub is a racing academy with programmes such as junior kart racing and technical training for motorsports enthusiasts.
 
The Changi Motorsports Hub is divided into four zones- Chill Out, Automobile World, Automobile Racing and Fun & Entertainment - to cater to both motorsports fans as well as the family oriented.
 
To enhance the consumer experience, a main promenade will be featured to create a village “feel” to the site, a common concept which originated from Europe. A motorsports museum is also among the list of comprehensive facilities to be built at the site.
 
Green initiatives are taken by SG Changi at every step of the race track design process to minimise all environmental impacts caused by the project through the use of green building and technology in areas such as heat reduction and systems power generation. 

 

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