17 February 2009

Changi Race Track - more land may be set aside

A 20-hectare plot in Changi will be the site for a permanent race track, it was announced in Oct 07.
Now, the Singapore Sports Council has taken the feedback of interested bidders and may set aside more land for the track. This will allow the staging of world class events like the Moto GP, which requires at least a 3.5-kilometre track.

Today it was announced that tenders for the project will be called soon.

The Sports Council does not want to say when exactly tenders will be called, saying it will be soon.

In Oct 08, Teo Ser Luck, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, said at last month’s F1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix that the permanent circuit in Changi is on track to be completed in 2011. Although 20 hectares have been allocated for the project, he also said the Government is willing to consider releasing more land should there be a need.

And despite the difficult economic climate, Singapore Sports Council chief executive officer Oon Jin Teik said that plans for the track will go ahead. “The Changi racetrack is a major component of SSC’s overall motor sports industry development plan in Singapore and it is intended to be funded by the private sector,” said Oon.

In Sep 08, Teo Ser Luck said the government is in talks with several parties and is exploring the different possibilities of developing the facility which will be fully funded by the private sector.

He said: "We are committed to wanting to develop a race track. We are open to different ideas which are coming forward because for the government side, we want to make it successful, and it must be a win-win partnership between the consortium that ultimately wins it and operates it, and the government as well."

"We are also assessing what needs to be done in that race track. It is a seafront race track, so we must maximise that piece of land there, not just as a race track but possibly an area where tourists will come, locals will go there and everybody would look at it as more than just for car races, but it is a family outing area as well," added Mr Teo.

The race track, which will be built on a 20-hectare plot, is likely to stretch between 2.8km and 3.5km, short compared to the Singapore Grand Prix circuit of 5.067km.

"That piece of land there is quite vast, but there are other needs for that piece of land, so I would say there is no confirmation or final (decision) on size and all that, we will talk to the different parties and decide later," said Mr Teo.

The Changi race track will be capable of hosting major motorsports events, except for F1 races, which need Grade 1 circuits, and include facilities such as a racing and driver training school, and a pit building and grandstand.

In Oct 07, it was reported that 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. Early estimates put construction costs at about $100 million.

In Sep 08, Fan Chian Jen of the Singapore Sports Council said the racetrack is scheduled to be completed between late 2010 and early 2011.

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