Dodge Circuit Electric Vehicle

December 17th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
Based on a Lotus, the Dodge runs on electrons. Driving shots, plus static exterior and interior footage

Based on a Lotus, the Dodge runs on electrons. Driving shots, plus static exterior and interior footage

Marina Bay, Singapore

December 27th, 2007 by Darren Cottingham

Preparations for the first-ever night race in Formula 1 history have been steadily building up with in-principle approval received for the Singapore street circuit, as well as the bespoke state-of-the-art lighting system. The biggest sports event the Republic has ever hosted, the inaugural Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix is set to be a truly unique event when the cars line up on the starting grid on 28 September 2008.

A year exactly before the race, Singapore received in-principle approval from the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) on 28 September 2007,  for the proposed 5.067km-long street circuit that will offer multiple overtaking opportunities as well as fast and challenging turns.

Set against the spectacular Singapore skyline, spectators will get a close-up view of the garden city as the circuit passes historic landmarks such as the City Hall and modern buildings along the Marina Bay, such as the Esplanade. With speeds expected to reach 300km per hour along portions of the circuit, spectators are assured a thrilling race and drivers a genuine challenge.

Lighting specialist Valerio Maioli S.p.a. of Ravenna, Italy, has designed a bespoke, state-of-the-art lighting system to deliver optimal visibility for night race conditions. The system minimises glare and reflections from a wet surface or spray from cars by using lighting projectors strategically positioned on one side of the track.

The logistical set up is vast – 108,423m of power cables, 240 steel pylons and around 1,500 light projectors will be used, with a total power requirement of over three gigawatts.  At 3000lux levels, the lighting will be four times brighter than the lights at sports stadiums.

A complete fact sheet is after this circuit layout diagram

Singapore Grand Prix track layout

Fact Sheet

Official Title 2008 Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix
About Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix: The inaugural Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix will take place on 28 September 2008 on a street circuit of public roads around the Marina Bay area. The race is the 15th round of the 2008 Formula 1 race calendar and includes a bespoke state-of-the-art lighting system that delivers optimal visibility for night race conditions.

The race will be the first in Formula 1 history held at night and is the first Formula 1 street race to be held in Asia.  Positioned as the Monaco of the East, it is the most anticipated race on the 2008 Grand Prix calendar.

Official website:
Venue: Marina Bay — in the heart of Singapore — just minutes from 5-star hotels, the MRT underground system, the bustling business district and historic landmarks such as City Hall and The Padang which form part of Singapore’s heritage hub.
Start time: 2000 hours (local time)
Title sponsor: SingTel
Race Promoter: Singapore GP Pte Ltd
Sanctioning Body: Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA)
Expected attendance: 80,000 spectators
Ticketing: 3-day Corporate hospitality packages were first released on 28 November 2007, to be followed by 3-Day general passes in mid-January 2008.  1-day ticket sales will commence before Chinese New Year, in February 2008.
Track description
Track length: 5.067km  / 3.148 miles*
Race direction: Anti-clockwise
Number of turns : 24, consisting of 14 left turns and 10 right turns
Maximum speed: In excess of 300kph
Slowest corner: 80 — 100kph
Overtaking opportunities: Turn 1: Pit StraightTurn
7: Raffles Boulevard
Turn 15: Esplanade Drive
Track design consultant: Kellogg Brown & Root Pty Ltd, Australia
Number of laps: 61*
Race Distance: 308.95 km*   (*Info subject to FIA confirmation)
*(If you are a maths whizz and HAVE calculated that the race distance is incorrect (5.067 x 61 = 309.087 km), here is the reason:
The start and finish lines aren’t in the same places. The start line is at the beginning of the straight, while the finish line is somewhere close to the middle of the straight – hence the difference.)
Lighting System
Power 3,180,000 watt
Track Projectors 1,485 @ 2,000 watt each
Power Generators 12 (twin-power)
Power Cables 108, 423m
Overall Luminosity 3000lux levels (four times brighter than a sports stadium)
Set up 2 to 3 months, from second quarter of 2008

Mazda Mine Proving Ground, Japan

December 27th, 2007 by Darren Cottingham

In order to give more comprehensive vehicle performance and safety testing, Mazda has extended its Mine Proving Ground in Mine City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, in western Japan with a skid pad, free flat course and winding track.

The skid pad is to test vehicles’ ability to turn sharply at high speed, the ‘free flat course’ is to evaluate high-speed slalom performance, and the winding track is to assess high-speed vehicle handling.

Specifications of the Mine Proving Ground

Course name Outline Used for
Circuit course

(existing track)

Total length: 3.33 km

Track width: 10 to 15 m

  • Improving test driving techniques
  • Driving schools for other organizations
  • Sales promotional activities
Skid pad


Radius: 80 m

Surface: round and flat

Length of runway: 270 m

  • Evaluating turning performance
  • Testing rollover resistance
  • “Fishhook” dynamic maneuvering tests
Free flat course


Total length: 400 m

Width x Length: 40 m x 300 m plus 80 m x 100 m

Surface: flat

Connected to the winding course

  • Testing of high-speed slalom performance
  • Testing of double lane-change performance
Winding course


Total length: 2.9 km circuit

Radius of corners: 50 to 200 m

Difference in elevation: 45 m

Course width: 8 m

Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia

December 24th, 2007 by Darren Cottingham

One of the more recent F1 specific tracks joining, the calendar in 1999, and seeing the return of Michael Schumacher in the Ferrari after his leg injury sustained at the British Grand Prix. He spent the entire race trying to go ‘slowly’ so that he could help his then team mate Eddie ‘Irv the swerve’ Irvine in the title chase. Even doing so, he made everyone else look like amateurs and somehow found a way to ‘not’ win the race.

Such is Formula One that on April 8, 2007, shortly before the 2007 Malaysian Grand Prix, Formula One president Bernie Ecclestone was quoted in stating that the circuit was getting “shabby” and “a bit tired” from the lack of care, describing it as “an old house that needs a bit of redecorating”. Cheek!

The circuit also sees action from MotoGP and Japanese Super GT racing.

By Phil Clark

Nürburgring, Germany

December 24th, 2007 by Darren Cottingham

The Green Hell

Home to the ‘second’ German Grand Prix for recent years (Hockenheim being the other), the new safer emasculated track did not warrant being called the Nürburgring, according to local fans. Opened in 1984, the 5.1km circuit saw a flagship inaugural event offering a veritable smorgasbord of F1 talent driving identical Mercedes 190E 2.3-16. The line-up was Jack Brabham, Phil Hill, Denny Hulme, James Hunt, Jacques Laffite, Niki Lauda, Carlos Reutemann, Keke Rosberg, Jody Scheckter, Manfred Schurti, Ayrton Senna and John Watson. Ayrton won, followed by Lauda and Reutemann.

In recent years, both the ‘Ring and the Hockenheim events have been losing money due to high and rising license fees charged by Bernie Ecclestone and low attendance due to high ticket prices. Starting with the 2007 Formula 1 season, Hockenheim and Nürburgring will alternate for hosting of the German GP.

By Phil Clark

Circuito Permanente de Jerez, Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

October 15th, 2007 by Darren Cottingham

Scene of another F1 championship decider in 1997 between Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve, the Red Baron tried to pull another stunt like he did with Damon Hill in 1994. This time it was he who had to retire and Monsieur Villeneuve won the championship. Check out this cartoon, penned one week prior to the race

Not a circuit with any significant historic motor racing roots, the track however is located in the famous sherry-producing region of southern Spain. It opened in 1985 but due to the remote location affecting spectator turnout, the 4.4km circuit lost the rights to host F1 to Barcelona. MotoGP, however, remains a stalwart of the circuit.

By Phil Clark

Autodromo Enzo E Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy

October 15th, 2007 by Darren Cottingham

With a significantly weighty and historic name like that (due to its proximity to the Ferrari factory), this 4.96km circuit has always tried to maintain a presence on the F1 calendar. Effectively a second Italian Grand Prix in all but name, it was cheekily called the ‘San Marino Grand Prix’ instead, being the name of a nearby small municipality.

Opened in 1954 and first hosting motorcycle racing, F1 visited on and off from 1963. 1994 however will be remembered for many years to come, due to the tragic loss of F1 ace Ayrton Senna and newcomer Roland Ratzenberger in the same weekend. The world was stunned, and safety for cars and circuits gained an increased focus, ultimately saving numerous lives since.

By Phil Clark

Autodromo de Estoril, Portugal

October 15th, 2007 by Darren Cottingham

Built near the beach resort of Estoril in 1972, this 4.3km track saw some race action in its infancy but fell into disrepair until 1984 when it was re-developed. In that same year it witnessed the closest ever championship finish of an F1 season, as Niki Lauda edged out McLaren team-mate Alain Prost by just 1/2 a point. Yes just 1/2 a point!

The circuit also provided another spectacle in 1996 when rookie Jacque Villeneuve passed Michael Schumacher ’round the outside’, on a corner where overtaking is just simply not done, mein heir. Although not on the F1 GP calendar now, it regularly sees teams winter testing and also hosts rounds of DTM, A1GP and MotoGP.

By Phil Clark

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