Singapore ripe for its own F1 race

UPDATE #5 This BBC article has a bit more on the rumored Singapore F1 race, now thought to probably be a street race.

04/11/06 The possibility of a grand prix in Singapore is revving up, with the southeast Asian country's government now admitting to 'actively looking at' a proposal to host a 2008 race.

Following the verbal interest of F1 power-players Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone, Singapore's minister for Trade and Industry told 'Today' newspaper that the government is contemplating allocating money for the project.

Lim Hng Kiang said: ''This is a very important proposition and we have to study the full impact and make a proper evaluation.''

He added that, in densely populated Singapore, allocating land for a F1 circuit is a 'very big decision', while a street track has also been mooted.

''It's not an easy evaluation to make,'' said the minister, undoubtedly mindful that South Africa, Mexico, Russia and India are also eyeing F1's calendar of the future.

04/05/06 sources tell us that Singapore is a serious project and should happen if the money can be agreed upon. Other rumors suggest Malaysia will go away before their contract is up because the race is losing a lot of money. Singapore might replace it as early as 2008.

04/04/06 (GMMf1NET) Max Mosley has added another voice of power to Singapore's apparent bid for a formula one race.

With F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone already admitting the possibility, the sport's governing body president – Mosley – says the Asian country would be a 'welcome addition' to the calendar.

The FIA chief told newspaper 'Today': ''Singapore is a vibrant business region with a huge motorsport fan base.

''If the infrastructure and financial commitment is in place, then it is always possible that Singapore could host a grand prix.''

A Monaco-like street circuit would be the most likely venue.

03/28/06 Singapore could be the next country to host a grand prix, according to reports in southeast Asia.

Magazine 'Today' rejuvenated speculation that the island, situated south of Malaysia, could stage a Monaco-like race in 2008.

The publication quoted Bernie Ecclestone as saying that he would 'positively try to make (a Singapore GP) happen'.

About a year ago, the F1 supremo ruled out the race because the calendar was already full.

But 75-year-old Ecclestone, after successfully writing a 20-race clause into the 2008 regulations, now says: ''My advice is that if somebody in Singapore is interested and wants to be the promoter … they should contact me and we can start talking about … what we can do.

''Maybe we can squeeze one more (race) in Asia.''

Responding to Bernie's comments, Singapore sports council boss Oon Jin Teik said hosting F1 is 'expensive' but would 'bring good returns'.

He also added: ''I have not met Mr Ecclestone but would be interested to have a chat with him.''

02/28/06 Described by its General Manager Datuk Ahmad Mustafa as SIC’s as its biggest international market but with huge potential of growing far bigger, the Malaysian F1 chief organizer said that it was always a pleasure to come to Singapore to promote their racing events.

“Singapore has always been the strongest supporter of events in Sepang especially Formula One. And, we know that the Singapore market could easily grow further as there was plenty of opportunities and interests," Ahmad said when launching the 2006 F1 Roadshow at the walkway of Wisma Atria in Singapore today.

“I know that Sepang is like a second home to many Singaporeans. There are so many die-hard racing fans in Singapore and Sepang loves them all," he said, adding that Singaporeans had always contributed the biggest number of foreign spectators for the Formula One Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix.

Outside Formula One and its other international events, Singaporean racing enthusiasts have always been frequent visitors to Sepang for the open track day sessions and various car club gatherings at the circuit. Riders from Singapore also made up a large number of competitors for SIC’s Malaysian Super Series.

Entering its eighth edition this year, the 2006 Formula One Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix has been slotted as Round 2 of the F1 World Championship and will be held at Sepang F1 Circuit from 17th to 19th March.

“We expect the same huge number of fans from Singapore for this year’s F1 race. Hopefully, it record the highest number ever," said Ahmad, adding that the 2005 event last year recorded a total of sale of 10,557 tickets from the Singapore sector.

The figures, Ahmad said, did not include purchases directly at the circuit and buys through their Malaysian friends and colleagues that could easily lifted the total number of spectators from Singapore to more than 25,000 people. Ticket sales for Singapore was the highest in 2004 with 14,400 while the preceding two years in 2003 and 2002 recorded impressive sales of 8,562 and 12,864 respectively from a total turnout of 84,010 and 101,485 people for the events.

Targeting a total of 120,000 spectators for this year’s event, SIC had gone on an aggressive international campaign with its partners Tourism Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur City Hall and Petronas since November last year to promote the 2006 Formula One Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix.

Apart from the Formula One race, fans can also catch actions from the 2006 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and the 2006 Formula BMW Asia as both series open their new season in Sepang. Source malaysiangp

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