Friday, March 23, 2007

Is this the first step in Singapore’s path to F1 victory?

Is this the first step in Singapore’s path to F1 victory?

Singapore will be host to Royal Bank of Scotland Group’s (RBS) global RBS Grand Prix Challenge from March 28 to April 4. The Grand Prix Challenge will be open to members of the public competing to set their fastest lap time in a state-of-the-art AT&T Williams F1 simulator based around a full-size F1 show car.

The three fastest drivers will compete against F1 drivers, Alex Wurz and Narain Karthikeyan, in the grand final on April 4. The overall winner from each country will then be flown to Europe to represent their country and compete in a real car, on a real race track, under the guidance and tuition of racing experts.

Three times F1 World Champion and RBS Global Ambassador, the legendary Sir Jackie Stewart will be on hand to greet fans on April 4 from 10:00 am.

Singapore’s Minister of State for Trade and Industry, S. Iswaran, said that the government was "willing to support such a venture up to a level commensurate with the broader benefits to the economy."

Iswaran believes that the attention and buzz that it generates will expose Singapore to a very different audience from that in the business and financial world, ultimately bringing about benefits to Singapore’s hospitality, retail and travel industries.

Do you think that the increased tourism revenue from F1 sports will bring about spill-over gains for associated industries in the long term, or will it reap an insignificant boost for Singapore’s economy? What are your thoughts?