New corner names for Singapore Grand Prix circuit
Three of the corners on the Marina Bay street circuit which will host the 2009 FORMULA 1™ SingTel Singapore Grand Prix, now sport new names, following a competition created in conjunction with the Singapore newspaper, Today.
In response to the 'It's Your Turn' contest, close to 1,800 names were submitted for the corners formerly known as Turn 1, Turn 7 and Turn 10. While Today is a national newspaper, entries were received from as far afield as Spain, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Canada.
The panel of judges took into account names that were punchy, have a strong local connection and are easy to pronounce. Getting to the eventual winners was a tough task, but in the end, Arthur Lim, a greetings card designer, won the top prize which consists of two grandstand tickets, a pit lane walkabout and a trackside hotel room during the 2009 FORMULA 1™ SingTel Singapore Grand Prix, from September 25 to 27.
Mr. Lim’s winning submission will rename Turn 1, the crucial first corner of the lap, "Sheares" in relation to the Benjamin Sheares Bridge which towers over the track at that point, and the fact that it “also suggests speed and smoothness.”
Both the bridge and the corner take their name from Singapore's second President, who led the development of the island state from 1971 until his death in 1981. The submission beat off many who advocated a link with the winner of the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso. This time he will have to be content with second place.
Turn 7, which was the scene of some of the most spectacular overtaking moves during the 2008 race, will now be known as "Memorial", due to its proximity to the imposing monument honoring civilian World War II victims. The 61 meter-tall memorial is composed of four columns representing four races, joined at the base to symbolize unity.
Turn 10 with its triple apex, last year claimed Kimi Raikkonen and Giancarlo Fisichella among its victims. It will now be named after Singapore’s most famous cocktail, the "Singapore Sling”. The drink is said to have been invented by Ngiam Tong Boon at the Long Bar in the nearby Raffles Hotel. The cocktail or sling is made up from a mix of gin, cherry brandy and Benedictine.
“Just like any icon, the corner has to be treated with respect” says Colin Syn, deputy chairman of the Singapore GP and part of the jury. “Drivers have to be careful here, but it can serve as a slingshot if they tackle it well. I guess after the exploits of some drivers last year, there could be jokes about a Wallbanger, but we chose to name the turn after the Singapore Sling because it is known internationally and fans everywhere can relate to it instantly”.