Changi Karting Circuit
There are no concrete plans to build a permanent racing circuit at Changi, but permission has just been granted to build an interim karting track on part of the land that the Changi Motorsports Hub was supposed to be built on.
Backed by private investors, it is understood that the karting track will take up 6.35ha of land (inclusive of the car park) and it will be on a six-month lease until October 2013. This karting facility set up at Changi is only an interim use of the land while long term plans for the site are being finalised.
Since the contract for the Changi Motorsports Hub was terminated and the land was taken back from SG Changi, the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) launched a Request for Information on 19 November 2012 as part of a four-month market sounding effort to ascertain the level of interest and the nature and scope of the ideas that some potential investors have for the land in Changi.
A decision has yet to be made on whether to proceed with an open tender within the next two months.
SSC reassures all potential investors that this interim use of the land at Changi is apart from and does not have any influence on the final decision made by SSC with regard to the long term plans for the site.
In the meantime, several parties have approached SSC in the past few months to lease parts of the 41ha site on a temporary basis. This includes organisations that rented the space for vehicle testing, staging areas for sports events, obstacle course competitions for vehicles and the upcoming karting facility.
Construction for the karting track will be starting soon and is targeted for completion by the second or third week of April. The track is planned to be just under 1.1 kilometres in length and to be of CIK-FIA (Commission Internationale de Karting) grade.
An interesting feature is how there can be six configurations of the track, to the extent that there can be two separate events on the same track simultaneously. For example, there can be a race kart practice running on one part of the track and another smaller track for rental karts.
“Motorsports is a science and we want to bring the science to the Singaporeans in a bid to develop Singapore’s next international race driver. Having this track is also to teach people that being a racing driver can be a job and not just a hobby. We want to build the first tier of the motorsport pyramid as that is where it all begins,” said Yuey Tan, one of the founders behind this project.
Tan also races in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and runs the company Havelock Speedway which is the promoter for the national series Singapore Karting Championship (SKC).
Benjamin Tan, managing director of luxury car broker AutoInc, is one of the stakeholders of this new Changi track. AutoInc has been fervently investing in motorsports, having their own stable of AutoInc Racing drivers and also sponsoring the SKC.
He said, “Finally, we finally have an internationally recognised track for Singapore motorsports. This will definitely benefit the industry. For the past three years we have been investing so much energy and resources in this sport and building up to this day, so that we can share the intelligence we have learnt with the rest of the community. This will help the sport to grow as we offer local drivers and also international drivers the chance to explore their potential.”
To help develop drivers, Tan said there will be a Singapore Karting Academy set up to train youths from the age of eight.
Adopting the syllabus from the Yamaha racing school in Japan, drivers will be put through a structured programme, including regular races in a one-make Yamaha karting series.
In addition, the SKC will be entirely held at this new karting track.
Previously held at Kartright Speedway and at Turns 1 and 2 of the Formula 1 Marina Bay street circuit, the SKC format has been changed for the 2013 season.
Instead of the usual five rounds over five weekends, there will now be only three race weekends but each weekend will hold two rounds.