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F1 nights set to rock Sepang
Harish Kotian | February 28, 2008 15:05 IST
Last Updated: February 28, 2008 17:04 IST
Formula One's first modern generation race track is now set to add another feather to its cap by hosting a race under lights from 2009.
Isuddin Rosli, project manager for the Sepang International Circuit, said in Mumbai on Wednesday that the 5.542-km track on the outskirts of the city, will be ready for night racing next year.
"We originally wanted to be the first to host night races, but unfortunately it didn't happen with Singapore hosting it later this year. From 2009 we will be introducing night race, which would start at 8 pm local time," Rosli said .
Singapore is due to host its first ever Formula One night Grand Prix in September on a street circuit.
"Our team is studying to find the best system as there is no one single lighting technology that can fit all tracks. They are currently in Doha studying the lighting used for the Doha MotoGP to be held under lights next month," he added.
"Sepang is a street circuit, so the technology they are using would be different from the ones that we would be using."
Other than Malaysia, Japan [Images] and China are the other venues hosting day races in 2008.
However, Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone is encouraging Asian circuits to have night races to cater to European audiences, who suffer because of the time difference.
Rosli also seemed thrilled at how their vision of building a modern-day world class race track has completely changed the sport.
"We were the first in the world to build a modern generation race track and you can see so many countries have modelled on us.
"We have been the gateway as far as Formula One racing in Asia is concerned. After us you saw races coming up in Bahrain, Shanghai, Istanbul and now in Singapore this year. We opened the gate for Formula One in Asia," he said.
Rosli said that F1 has proved to be an important tool in boosting Malaysia's tourism revenue.
"The Formula One race has basically served as a campaign to boost Malaysia's name and culture throughout the world.
He also has some advice for India, which is due to host a F1 Grand Prix in 2010
"Proper planning and publicity is very important. Being such a huge country, fan following and interest in the sport would not be a problem for India."
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