The Singapore Karting Championship (SKC) has returned for a second season, this time organised by McElrea Racing Pte. Ltd, who won the three-year bid for the commercial rights of the Championship against Williams Racing. Only winning the bid in March, they only had less than two months to prepare for the five-round series that started yesterday at official venue Kartright Speedway.
McElrea Racing has boosted the SKC to quite a different level, with the injection of technology such as TV replay angles on the pit lane entry and exit lines, as well as camera coverage all around the Kartright Speedway circuit. There is a brand new website (www.skc.sg) dedicated just to SKC, where news are regularly updated and profiles of drivers and teams can be found along with a gallery of telecasts and photos. This year’s championship will include cash prizes on the podiums, giveaways, entertainment, celebrity guests, expert commentary and TV screens.
The entire SKC series will be broadcasted on Xinya TV, which is viewed by over 15 million households worldwide, from April to November. The coverage of the SKC will extend beyond to our shores to North America, Europe, Australia and almost all of Asia through free-to-air channels, satellite TV and cable. Initially, McElrea was to work with technology partner Wimobilize to broadcast the SKC via the official web and mobile sites through IPTV.
Named the AutoInc Singapore Karting Championship, AutoInc is an independent trader in used high end cars, headed by Benjamin Tan, former trader and Entrepreneur of the Year Award nominee.
In case you find the name McElrea Racing familiar, it is the same team that Yuey Tan is driving for in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia. Hence it is no surprise that Yuey Tan, Singaporean international GT race driver, was selected as the ambassador for the SKC. Yuey is also the director of McElrea Racing and has successfully closed sponsorship deals for SKC with AutoInc Sports and Eurohaus Tuning.
McElrea Racing is currently running cars in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, Porsche Carrera Cup Australia, the V8 Supercars and Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia.
Yuey also appointed Kenneth Yeo as General Manager of the SKC, an ex-national swimmer who represented Singapore in the Olympics before and two-time Singapore Sports Council Sportsboy of the Year.
Ensuring that the profile of SKC is raised as high as possible, high end lifestyle event company Division Communications was appointed the official event organisers of the SKC, a company that was responsible for The Changi Airport Race, where Yuey beat a Boeing 747 with a Porsche.
Pulling another partner from The Changi Airport Race project, IDP Media is also in for the SKC as the the video setup and production team. They are setting up multiple LCD TVs throughout the 2nd and 3rd level viewing areas at Kartright Speedway so the audience will not miss any part of the action and the race stewards can make well-informed decisions.
Completing the comprehensive SKC promotion plan is a group of motorsports personalities in the commentary box, including Yuey Tan, Benjamin Potter and Arj Kulasegaram. Benjamin manages several GT racing drivers’ careers and commentated for the Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix support races -Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and Formula BMW Pacific – in 2008, while Arj is the team boss of Team Porsche Club Singapore (PCS) Racing.
The podium box will also hold celebrity guests Rosalyn Lee from The 987FM Shan, Rozz and Ris show, as well as celebrity couple, Randall Tan and Melody Chen. Rosalyn happens to be a long-time friend of Yuey’s.
Before the season officially started yesterday, I must say SKC has certainly been boosted to a much higher commercial level and is way more glamourised than it was last year during its debut season which was organised by the Singapore Motor Sports Association.
Anyway, I was supposed to just summarise what you can expect from this year’s SKC but instead went on about its revamped commercial profile. Compared to Round 1 last year, there are less competitors in total (especially in the Masters category which saw a huge boom of registrants in 2010) but I believe the standard of competition will be higher as the drivers are more familiar with the track now.
Here are some photos from Day 1 (23 April 2011), courtesy of Andrew JK Tan for cheryl-tay.com: