Thursday, October 18, 2012
THAILAND F1 RACE
It seems that everybody wants to get on the F1 race bandwagon and now Thailand has announced that they want it too. But the announcement came abruptly I must say without any warning as usually there would be talks or some sort of activity that would be going on for some time before an announcement of this sort is made.
I say "of this sort" because this announcement sounded very confident. It's as if it has already been confirmed behind closed doors.
According to Kanokphand Chulakasem, Ratchadamnoen Avenue in Bangkok, which was first mooted as an ideal location for motor racing by Prince Bira (Prince Birabongse Bhanudej Bhanubandh), back in 1939, and Muang Thong Thani, home to Impact, a complex frequently used as the venue for exhibitions and entertainment events, are both under consideration.
Prince Bira was the only Thai racecar driver to race in Formula One. He raced for the Maserati, Gordini, and Connaught teams, among others.
"A contract is likely to be signed later this year," Kanokphand told the Bangkok Post. "It is likely to be a one-year deal with an option to extend." "It will be a city race like that in Singapore and Monaco," Kanokphand said. "It will be a night race like the Singapore Grand Prix."
While the government is expected to put up as much as 60 percent of the funding, the rest would come from private companies including Red Bull and the Singha Corporation. However , the project has yet to be officially approved by the government, a move that may require a public hearing.
"We have been working closely with F1 officials to look for the best site," said Kanokphand, while Red Bull's Michael de Santiesteban insists that Thailand is ready to host a race in 2014 and that it will happen. "Concerned parties have been in talks to finalise the details," he said.
Seems like a pretty done deal. And with confidence to boot. Thailand does not have a motorsport history or culture, just like Malaysia or Singapore. But if they did get the race and if they know how to market it right, then it could be a successful event like Singapore. Singapore has done well to put the race on the must go list, as compared to Malaysia who have not done much in 15 years.
Another night race. Sounds nice and all but Bangkok traffic isn't exactly freindly especially when you shutdown some parts of the city for a few days. Anyway, I wish them well and it would be nice to have another F1 race nearby to Malaysia. I just hope that it is not at the expense of the Malaysian race, although anything is possible.