Browsing Category: Motorsports

Super Taikyu Rd 6 Autopolis

Ok, So last November, i was priviledged enough to join the Petronas Syntium Team up in Oita Prefecture for their last round battle in  the Super Taikyu Endurance Series.

Having already clinched the title in the previous round, this race was a much looked forwarded to end of season race for the team.

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Oita mountainous regions houses Autopolis Circuit.

The Kawasaki owned 4.7km circuit accompanied with the weather conditions of the time of the year, and the upland area location means the atmosphere is thin and by god was it cold.

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Petronas Syntium Team’s Malaysian Veteran Driver Fariqe Hairuman Shelters himself from the cold in the pit tents and puts some add on’s to his helmet livery.

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The first few days were a blast. With splendid weather conditions. Clear weather for both practice and qualifying sessions!

 

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Autopolis circuit hosted a slew of pretty nice looking honda sponsored safety/marshal cars.

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There was also a dedicated smoking bus! Parked there right beside the loo!

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Surrounded by the massive massive mountains.

Before it all, i embarked on a track walk with some of the young guns from the team.

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Also the two photographers shooting their pro cameras and millions of frames per second in front of them is none other than Larry Chen from the Speedhunters and Cheryl Tay, a revered female automotive journalist from Singapore.

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The elevation changes of the track were gradual incline or declines which proved to be a task for the drivers after shooting out from sharp hairpin corners.

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Of course, the team runs two Mercedes Benz SLS AMG GT3.

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Other cars that competed in our class were a Speedracer Liveried Ferrari 458 Italia and Nissan GTR’ GT3s.

Now, as race day approached, The weather took a sudden turn for the worst.

Heavy fog.

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The winds were so strong that it even blew the pit tent off! I had to stay in the team trailer without a heater, was literally freezing my ass off.

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This caused problems as there were poor racing conditions. a slow and excruciating delay ensued.

After which we were all called into the pits for a meeting.

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Here a little special panoramic view of the pit meeting of the whole team.

We were told that the race format has been changed. From a 3 to a 2 hour endrance race with 3 mandatory driver changes.

 

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Grid girls were out in FULL force admist the fog and cold weather.

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I Certainly do admire their perserverance, though i suppose they do get paid quite a fair bit.

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Cheryl launching herself in a super camera taking position.

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Some of the Grid Girls were luckier than not. They had more on.

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And then it was on to the windy and wet track for the start of the race(behind the safety car)

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The race started with foggy conditions all the way, and eventually ended with a red flag 75% in, we were unlucky this round and clinched a 2nd and 3rd place spot on the podium. Not exactly the best way to end the season.

Overall it was a eye opening experience for me there this race. And if you were wondering, i was handling the team’s social media pages!

Namely the Facebook Page And the Instagram Page.

Do follow them if you could!

Here are some of the instagram shots i took whilst on the trip!

Enjoy!

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After the race, we Scrambled to pack up everything and headed straight for the car as temperatures were dropping real quick.

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Larry says, This way home!

 

We went down the twisty “Initial D” like mountain roads of Oita and headed for Fukuoka, afterwhich the whole team will disperse back to their own countries.

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Well, Fingers crossed i’ll be able to join the team for their ventures next season.

Till then!

Adios!

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MMER 2012

Ok and this year’s Malaysia Merdeka Endurance Race proved to be another thriller.

Though i was there working this time. I was right there where the action unfolded.

Right at the end though with a brilliant 1-2 finish from the Petronas Syntium Team meant a record hat-trick for the team.

You can read up the team race report about the race.

Here are my shots for the race. Though i’m in the pits the whole time.

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The Clearwater racing Ferrari proved to be a tough challenger this year. really quick. though mechanical problems had them retire the race.

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Always beautiful the livery on the drivers helmets.

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Cheryl Tay showing off her camera skills. Read her blogpost on the race here!

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The LKM Porsche, which ended the race 3rd despite having a blown tyre during the race.

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Spotted some sogurt there. Needed some in the blistering Sepang Heat.

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Driver’s of Petronas Syntium Team Car#1 – Yanagida, Taniguchi and Ang

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Car #28 Driver Fariqe Hairuman’s Helmet

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Lightning quick pitstops!

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Air Jack’s lift the car. Tyres off. Tyres on. all in a matter of seconds.

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Twilight approaches as we go through to the night.

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Team Principal Dato’ David Wong looks on as 2 minutes left on the clock.

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Team Manager Gen Suzuki radio’s in for the Win.

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Brilliant race overall i’d say.

Well this post isn’t a really comprehensive coverage. But its good enough do check out the Petronas Syntium Team’s Page on facebook and give them a “like” please!

Cheers Everyone!

Karting in Singapore

I Loooove Motor Racing. Alot. So it naturally comes to me sadly that Singapore is not a country that supports their citizens for motorsports.

Even so with the occasional drift events and the Formula one night race being held at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, there still isn’t enough buzz created. That being said. a buzz that has still been around for awhile is Go-Karting. The Beginner level if you must, where most prolific racers has started from. Heck. even some racers kart as a profession.

That brings me to the Jurong Kartright Speedway. More or less Singapore’s only karting track, or the one and only fixed motorsport settlement after the proposed race track seemed to be a booboo.

 

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However a little bit of motorsport action in singapore sets you back a handful load of dough for just 10 minutes. And all you try is a probable 6-8 bhp “fun kart” that bobbles around the technical track filled with tight turns and chicanes. However. it was a whole load of fun.

Better yet if you are fooling around with friends. although the karts are a little twicthy, gets rather frustrating when spinning out after suddenly breaking in corners, allowing smirks on the faces of the other karters as they whizz by. The karts presents Gee forces too when cornering hard, especially in the final chicane towards the main straight and is probably a favourite amongst me and my friends when out on track.

Here’s an onboard lap of the circuit i found on youtube.

 

Admist all the spinning out or slamming into the tire wall, everyone had a load of fun and boy did the 10minutes feel longer than it should. That being said, after the simple 1/6 of an hour session, we felt tired and also contented. Do check them out if you could and around the area. That is if you are not in store for a trip up to Malaysia for half priced karting instead that be.

 

And just in case you’re lazy to click HERE for the site, here is their address.

Kartright (Pte) Ltd.
511 Upper Jurong Road, #01-05, Singapore 638366
Tel: +65 6265 3303
Fax: +65 6265 2202
Skype: kartright.singapore

Weekdays
11 am – 10 pm 

Saturdays
9 am – 10 pm 

Sundays
9 am – 7 pm

 

It is also advisable to check their track availability schedule before heading down to avoid disappointment in case they have a race on that day or a corporate event for that matter.

Overall a brilliant experience. Leaves me yearning a lot more, and we did, indeed, head back for seconds.

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Singapore Motorsports Hub. The Long Long wait.

Ok, so here’s the deal. a couple of years ago. The Singapore Sports Council decides of build a race track, in Changi, eastern part of Singapore. Joyous news to the ears of motorsports fans alike. And me, also one. rejoiced!

Here are excerpts of various articles. a compilation done by wildsingapore.com

Channel NewsAsia 26 Oct 07
Govt calls for proposals to build permanent race track in Changi

Business Times 27 Oct 07
Permanent race track to be built at Changi
By Vincent Wee 

Straits Times 27 Oct 07
Motorsports to get permanent Changi racetrack
At least three international races will be held each year; industry has sporting and economic growth potential 
By Leonard Lim 

SINGAPORE’S motorsports industry is set to shift into high gear. 

After months of speculation, the Government yesterday announced plans to call for design tenders for a permanent racetrack in Changi. With the winning bidder required to host at least three international races annually, enthusiasts – already high from Formula One fever – will be spoilt for choice come the facility’s completion in 2011. 

Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, said the move was made after the motorsports industry was identified to have both sporting and economic growth potential. 

‘In our discussions with the private sector, industry players shared that the development of a permanent racetrack is critical for us to develop a comprehensive motorsports industry,’ he said after touring the 20ha site next to the Singapore Airshow grounds. 

A request for proposals is likely to be made next May, with the tender and bidding process expected to take about half a year. Five to eight local groups have expressed interest, and Dr Balakrishnan said he expects strong interest with a formal announcement. 

The facility will be fully funded by the private sector, but the successful bidder will pay the government market price for the land. The Grade 2 facility, which will have a tenure of 30 years, could host any race except F1. 

To ensure the track remains commercially viable, the successful bidder must stage at least three international races, such as the A1 Grand Prix, Japan GP and motorcycling’s MotoGP, every year. Other site facilities will include a racing and driver training school, and a pit building and grandstand. 

The track’s length is likely to be 2.8km to 3.5km, and its unique seafront location makes it an iconic site for drivers and spectators. It also allows a 1km straight, longer than the average of 700m in other permanent circuits. 

Early estimates put construction costs at about $100 million. 

Motorsports fever has been on the rise since May, when Singapore announced it will host its first F1 race on a Marina Bay street circuit next year. 

However, said Dr Balakrishnan, the F1 race is just once a year and is insufficient ‘as a platform to encourage all the other potential developments which surround motorsports’. Hence the decision on a permanent facility which could host other races, exhibitions and industry-related events. 

One development the Government is keen to tap is the business potential of the motorsports industry. Top automobile manufacturers such as BMW and Mercedes use motor races as technical and engineering test-beds for their commercial vehicles. 

Said Dr Balakrishnan: ‘Many of these companies already have a base in Singapore. As Singapore moves up the value chain… there are areas we believe Singapore’s high-precision engineering and our past experience will give us a competitive edge.’ 

He also announced a cross-government agency working group, led by the Singapore Sports Council, to develop a comprehensive motorsports industry development plan. 

The local motorsports fraternity is also understood to be in the advanced stages of planning a national race ‘born and bred in Singapore’. It will be staged at the new circuit and involve touring cars. 

Said Singapore Motor Sports Association official Tony Tan: ‘To us, this is like the next biggest news after F1. This is something we can call our own. Fewer trips to Sepang and Pasir Gudang for us soon!’ 

Channel NewsAsia 26 Oct 07
Govt calls for proposals to build permanent race track in Changi

SINGAPORE : The government is calling for proposals to build a permanent race track in Changi. 

This is to help make Singapore into a regional motor sports hub by riding on the F1 fever that has hit the country. 

Due to its size, the proposed Grade 2 track is not designed for F1, but other smaller races.

Races like the A1 are just some of the exciting events that could come to Singapore should this proposed track design materialise. 

A 20-hectare land off Changi Coast Road will be the site for the permanent facility. 

Its seafront location will make it one of the most scenic circuits in Asia. 

More importantly, the track will allow year-round usage and have benefits beyond sport. 

Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports said: “It is also an industry that we want to promote. A lot of people think the production and building of cars is not something that Singapore has a role in. But contrary to that, if you look at modern cars, there is a lot of research development, high-tech planning and design which goes into it and as Singapore moves up the value chain. Singapore’s high precision engineering and our past experience will give us a competitive edge.” 

Testing of cars aside, driver training courses can also be conducted. 

The track will cost some $84 million and the ministry said there are interested parties. 

It will be the most compact and efficient in Asia – measuring about 2.8km. 

“With limited space, there will be a compromise because the longer the track, the more corners there will be. This also means the track is likely to be slower compared to a shorter track. But having said that, you also depend very much on the design of the track,” said Fan Chien Jen, Deputy Director, Motor Sports Development Division, Singapore Sports Council. 

The track will also allow the sport to grow here and develop future champions at a racing academy. 

“A chance for a driving school perhaps… some kind of academy that’ll give the driver a chance to get on the pathway. It will allow the masses to enjoy this, not only as a spectator but also to drive,” said Oon Jin Teik, CEO of Singapore Sports Council. 

The ministry will not fund the project. It will call for proposals both here and overseas in May 2008. 

The track is expected to be up and running by 2011. – CNA /ls 

Business Times 27 Oct 07
Permanent race track to be built at Changi
By Vincent Wee

THE government said yesterday it will develop motorsports here by working with the private sector to build a permanent race track on a 20-hectare site at Changi and putting together a comprehensive plan. 

‘Motorsports is an activity that has great potential for Singapore,’ said Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Vivian Balakrishnan. 

It is being recognised first as a sport in its own right and second as an industry that Singapore wants to promote, he said. 

The Economic Development Board has realised that there is business potential and is part of the team working on the development project. 

Emphasising that it is still at a preliminary stage, Dr Balakrishnan said: ‘We are now signalling to the private sector, local and international, that Singapore is interested in the development of a permanent motor sports track. 

‘We want them to get in touch with the Sports Council and start the dialogue with us over the next few months as we refine the detailed specifications of the tender that we will call.’ 

The Singapore Sports Council will lead a multi-agency team which will market the project locally and internationally. 

The seafront view and longish sides of the 30-year tenure site, which could yield a track 2.8-3.5km long with possibly one of the longest straights in Asia, would be unique selling points. The track should be able to seat at least 15,000 spectators and would be a Grade 2 FIA-approved track circuit that could host any type of motor race except Formula 1. 

There would also be a Grade 1 karting track – the only such track in South- east Asia. 

Promoters bidding for the track will have to bring in at least three international races and two national series a year, as well as other motor sports events and exhibitions. In addition, a motor racing and advanced driving school must be part of the facilities. 

A request for proposal is expected to go out in May next year. The tender process will likely take six to nine months and the track is expected to be completed by end-2010 or early 2011.

Brilliant compilation. However dated 2007. it makes me 4 years pissed now.

 

But now it seems that the bid then, won by a particular company “SG Changi” has been axed by the Motorsports council for, well, reasons. Such as not even beginning on contruction. With a proposed deadline for completion of the track at END 2011(HAHA SG Changi real nice way to go for procrastination), i somewhat feel they do deserve the axing of the project. however for others, i am peeved at the point which we don’t get to see our track till maybe a gazillion years later when my grandkids are old enough to race.

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Here’s a picture of Mr Lim Teck Yin, taken from a yahoo site, Here he announces that SG Changi is going poopoo with the contract.

Oh ok, and read this.

 

 

The Singapore Sports Council (SSC) announced on Monday it has terminated its agreement with private firm SG Changi to build the proposed Changi Motorsports Hub.

SSC‘s chief executive officer Lim Teck Yin told reporters at a media briefing that the SSC found it would be “difficult for the project to succeed”.

The consortium was awarded the tender to build the hub in March last year but faced difficulties raising the estimated $380 million needed. Construction for the hub, which was to be completed by the end of the year, was halted in January. 

The SSC gave the termination notice to SG Changi last Wednesday. 

Lim said that he will personally lead an SSC inquiry into the process of the motorsports hub project and has commenced a full post-mortem.

He added that for the remainder of this year, the SSC and SG Changi will work out a mutual termination agreement, with the terms to be finalised by the end of this month. 

He declined comment on whether a new tender will be opened for the project but noted that the SSC will need to put out a public request for information to assess market interest in taking up the building of the hub.

The hub was planned to include a 3.5km race track, a 1.2km karting track and a 20,000-capacity spectator gallery, alongside a museum and a racing academy.

 

~ Excerpt from Yahoo.com.sg

 

Wonder as we all are, will we ever get our track soon? Or will the next bid contender be another flop and domino  another 4 years for all of us?

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Teeny Picture from the groundbreaking ceremony for the hub.

HAHA guys. so much for the shovels.

 

 

 

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It is though only until then could we dream of racing, watching full Super GT or F1 races on a full fledged Singapore Racing Circuit.

Till then, we’ll take it to the streets!

Oh. erm. i mean, Pasir Gudang or Sepang. like duh. ahem.

 

Sepang 1000KM 2011

And again here i am, recovering from the long long hiatus. a post!

I have had the honour of going back to Sepang again this year to check out the 9 hour Sepang 1000km race.

And boy was it tiring. endurance races like these has me running around the track taking photos.

Although this one wasn’t a good run compared to previous outings to Sepang, i still had my fair share of fun. Tiring, but fun.

In any case, just to fill up the empty space here, here are some shots from the race.

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So there you go. The scorching Malaysian sun had me looking like a cooked lobster when i returned. Well, more posts! yes yes. i promise.