Chance for karters to race on F1 street circuit
Local motor-racing fans will get a taste of what it's like to charge under the lights of the Marina Bay Formula 1 street circuit at the end of the month.
In the build-up to the Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix from Sept 19 to 21, race organisers Singapore GP are hosting a Rev Up Singapore! Kartnival at the Marina Promenade on Aug 31.
For the first time, motor-racing enthusiasts will be able to try go-karting, for up to 10 minutes, at the track's Turn 23 - next to the Singapore Flyer.
It will also be the first time fans will get to experience racing under the lights of the Formula 1 track.
Up to 500 slots are available for the Kartnival - those interested must register at www.singaporegp.sg/revupsingapore - which runs from 12pm to 8pm, and the event will also have a Formula 1 exhibit where patrons can race in Singapore GP simulators, along with food kiosks.
And 150 readers of The New Paper will have the exclusive opportunity to soak in the unique thrill of racing their karts under the same lights that turn the Singapore Formula 1 night race into one of the most spectacular on the annual calendar.
"The Rev Up Singapore! Kartnival, as well as the Karting Training Programme and Championship, are just two out of six Singapore GP initiatives locals can participate in to experience the thrills of Formula 1," said Fiona Mohd Irwan, assistant director (media and communications) Singapore GP.
"Karting has close links to Formula 1 as most drivers, including world champions Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel, started out their professional racing career in karting.
"This programme aims to introduce karting to as many Singaporeans as possible, and provides them the coveted opportunity to race on the Marina Bay street circuit, just like the Formula 1 drivers."
In June, Singapore GP introduced a karting training programme and championship, where 120 teenagers with no karting experience were trained in the fundamentals of motor-racing through theory and practical workshops.
The drivers will compete in the championship finals at the street circuit on Aug 30.
Other initiatives under the Rev Up Singapore! campaign include a Thursday Pit Lane experience, school visits, various library events, and a behind-the-scenes look at the Marina Bay track, which will be open to the public for the first time.
The Thursday Pit Lane Experience will take place on Sept 18, a day ahead of the circuit park's opening.
Previously accessible only to Paddock Club ticket holders, the Pit Lane Walk will offer an exclusive first-hand view of the team garages at the Pit Building.
Behind-the-scene tours into the Paddock and restricted areas, like the race control room and commentary booths, will take place between Sept 6 and 9.
There will be 200 passes available through ballot for Singaporeans and Singapore residents.
Fans can visit www.singaporegp.sg/revupsingapore for more information on the various programmes and initiatives ahead of this year's Grand Prix.
This programme (Rev Up Singapore! Kartnival) aims to introduce karting to as many Singaporeans as possible, and provides them the coveted opportunity to race on the Marina Bay Street Circuit, just like the Formula 1 drivers.
- Singapore GP assistant director (media and communications) Fiona Mohd Irwan
TNP READERS GO-KART CONTEST
Win a go-kart slot at The Rev Up Singapore! Kartnival by answering the following question:
Many professional Formula 1 racers got their start behind the go-kart wheel. Name two.
Answers must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by Aug 27. Winners will be notified by Aug 29.
Readers may also choose their preferred karting slot: 6pm to 7pm or 7pm to 8pm.
Verstappen to be youngest F1 driver
Max Verstappen, 16, will become Formula 1's youngest-ever driver next season after being unveiled as Toro Rosso's new signing.
The Dutch teenager, son of ex-F1 driver Jos Verstappen, currently races in Formula 3 with the Van Amersfoort Racing team.
He will partner Russian Daniil Kvyat in the Red Bull feeder team, with Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne, 24, surplus to requirements.
"Ever since I was seven, Formula 1 has been my career goal, so this is truly a dream come true," said Max, who turns 17 next month.
He will beat by almost two years the age record currently held by Spain's Jaime Alguersuari, who was 19 years and 125 days when he made his debut at the Hungarian GP in 2009, also for Toro Rosso.
Max won the world go-karting championship last year, and has topped the podium in eight out of 27 races since graduating to the highly competitive Formula 3 Championship. - AFP.