Motorsports in Singapore used to be a vibrant scene with the former Singapore Grand Prix held at the old Upper Thomson Road and car park rallies along with hill climbs were aplenty. Gone were those days and now we enter the modern era of motorsports in Singapore.
Asia has increasingly played an important role in Formula 1 and has been at the centre of some innovative developments, like the first night race in Singapore. F1 is a global sport driven by international business and the business opportunities for Asian companies through motorsports are expanding rapidly.
Go-karting is the most accessible form of motorsport to actively participate in right now, with only one permanent karting track in Singapore to go to and a national karting championship to compete in.
Recently the corporates have picked up on karting as a new way to network and strengthen team bonds, leading to the formation of the inaugural OCBC Corporate Karting Challenge (a four-hour endurance race in leisure karts in teams of four) and the KF1 Karting Challenge (a series of two two-hour endurance race in race karts in teams of four).
Visually, drifting has also picked up in popularity around the region as the newer generation of motorsport enthusiasts learns how to appreciate the sideways smoking action.
The local motorsports scene has evolved in a way different from former times and progress for the industry seemed to have hit a brick wall with the severely problematic construction of the Changi Motorsports Hub, the proposed permanent circuit for Singapore. Somewhat disheartened by the fading promise of our own race track, the motorsport fans in Singapore still have reason to cheer as I briefly sum up Singapore motorsports from A to Z…
AUTOINC Sports Pte Ltd, purveyor of sports and luxury automobiles and lifestyle products has come forward this year as a title sponsor for the Singapore Karting Championship (SKC). It is very encouraging to see reputed companies like AutoInc step forward to embrace the spirit of motorsports in Singapore and help to develop its growth.
BIKING is another form of motorsport too, where everything is just on two wheels.
CHANGI MOTORSPORTS HUB is the name of the permanent race track in Singapore that is supposed to be built by end of this year, but its progress is unfortunately plagued by one ugly incident after another.
DRIFTING has become one of the most popular form of motorsport in Singapore since the first Formula Drift Asia was held in 2008 at the Changi Exhibition Centre. The fourth edition in Singapore was ran in June at Turns 1, 2 and 3 of the Formula 1 Marina Bay street circuit.
ENDURANCE RACING is another forte of Singaporean teams and drivers, with homegrown talent having shown great results at the Merdeka Millenium Endurance Race and Sepang 1,000km Race.
FORMULA 1 SINGTEL SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX is the nation’s pride of motorsports as the night race swings around in September with racing aces Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso in town.
GRID GIRLS are a must at any motorsport event and SingTel hosts its fourth SingTel Grid Girl Contest in conjunction with the fourth Grand Prix.
HISTORIC MOMENT for Singapore motorsports was the day that the first F1 night race was held on 28 September 2008.
I LOVE MOTORSPORTS and I hope Singapore’s motorsport development will flourish in the near future.
JMI (Just Marketing International), leading motorsports marketing agency, co-organised “THE BUSINESS OF MOTORSPORTS IN ASIA” with the Singapore Exchange last September, the region’s first business conference with a view inside the motorsports industry. Joining Bernie Ecclestone at the summit were leading executives from across Asia, who discussed the emergence of motorsports as a major economic contributor to the region.
KARTRIGHT SPEEDWAY is the only place to go karting in Singapore at the moment. In operation since October 2009, Kartright Speedway was officially opened in January 2010.
LADIES’ NIGHT @KARTRIGHT is a female-only go-karting clinic held monthly at Kartright Speedway for the women to have a go on the track without unnecessary stresses from the men.
MELVIN CHOO is the only Singaporean driver who is currently taking part in Super GT.
NATIONAL STADIUM CAR PARKS at Kallang were once the hub for local motorsports races such as go-karting, car park rallies and sprint races.
ORCHARD GUDANG is the stretch of road in Orchard ideal for some high-speed action, colloquially named after a track in Malaysia that is often frequented by Singaporean track enthusiasts.
PASIR GUDANG is the exact track that I was referring to above.
QUIET is the word to describe the Singapore motorsports scene most of the year.
RINGO CHONG is a local veteran racing driver who used to dominate the car park races and has earned quite a reputation for himself in tracks across Asia. Right now he is based in China where he provides professional driver training.
SINGAPORE KARTING CHAMPIONSHIP is the only national motorsports series at the moment, with the pure objective of grooming homegrown talent and cultivating the grassroots levels.
TAN TENG LIP is the President of the Singapore Motor Sports (SMSA) and also the first Singaporean to be elected to the FIA World Motor Sports Council.
UNIQUELY SINGAPORE is the worldwide tourism campaign to promote Singapore and its various attractions, including the annual F1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix.
VICOM, Singapore’s authorised centre for statutory vehicle inspection, is not a name that modified car owners like to hear of.
WOMEN MOTOR & SPORT COMMISSION of the SMSA was newly formed last year with a vision to build an active community of women in motor sport.
X-FACTOR is what’s missing from Singapore motorsports as it seriously lacks sustainability.
YUEY TAN is a homegrown racing driver currently competing in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia series and is also the ambassador for the SKC. Dedicated to educating about motorsports the right way, Yuey is working closely with his team McElrea Racing as well as with AutoInc to seek talent and maximise potential in the local pool, including 12-year-old female kart racer Gabriella Teo.
ZERO to 100km/h is the standard century sprint that measures a car’s performance and speed. Applying it to the motorsports scene in Singapore, I would say we are only at 30km/h.