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Ali Kasim
Sunday, Aug 3, 2014

Sports

Karting: Finally, there's a race track

The New Paper | Ali Kasim | Sunday, Aug 3, 2014

OUT FOR A SPIN: RICHARD TAN (LEFT), MANAGING DIRECTOR OF ARINA HOLDING INTERNATIONAL, THE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY WHICH BUILT THE KF1 KARTING CIRCUIT IN KRANJI, GOING FOR A TEST DRIVE AT THE 960M FACILITY YESTERDAY.

In two months, Singapore will have its first permanent, world-class karting facility ready for racing.

The new 960-metre KF1 Karting Circuit in Kranji was unveiled at the Singapore Turf Club yesterday, and the facility plans to host a world championship karting event in the near future.

Before that, though, the track will help feed a growing demand from racing enthusiasts, especially after plans for a permanent track in Changi were scrapped last year.

"This karting facility really helps motorsport in Singapore," said Colin Syn, deputy chairman of Singapore GP Pte Ltd, promoters for the Formula 1 Grand Prix at Marina Bay.

"I mean, other than our F1 street circuit, what else did we have? In a way, this replaces the Changi race track.

"Karting is the cheapest form of racing and it's how almost everyone gets in racing.

"Hopefully, with this new track, more kids can get involved in the sport."

The KF1 Karting Circuit is owned by Arina Holding International, a construction company headed by businessman Richard Tan, who has been running the KF1 Corporate Challenge karting event - held a week before the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix - here since 2011.

It is designed by world-renowned German engineer, Hermann Tilke, who has been involved with more than 65 tracks worldwide, including the Formula 1 circuits of Shanghai, Abu Dhabi, Istanbul, Bahrain and Texas.

$2 MILLION FACILITY

Costing $2 million, the facility features F1-style team garages with individual shutter doors in its 80m-long paddock building.

The circuit is designed to enable karts to hit a top speed of 100kmh on the straight, and can also be reconfigured into two separate tracks, enabling two races simultaneously.

Tan hopes to have the track ready in time for this year's Singapore Airlines Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, which takes place from Sept 19 to 21.

Thereafter, plans to host world karting championships will be worked on.

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