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Hi-tech electronic 'DigiFlag' displays will enhance night-time safety
Singapore, 16 April 2008 - As well as making history as the sport’s first-ever night race, the 2008 FORMULA 1™ SingTel Singapore Grand Prix on September 28 will also mark the introduction of electronic flag displays traditionally waved by marshals to communicate with drivers.
The flag signals, which have been an integral part of motor racing for over five decades, will be supplemented by electronic boards alongside the track. Using technology similar to units used to guide pilots at the runways of major airports, the 'DigiFlags' will display the different flag colours more effectively at the night race because of the brightness of the display boards.
The system, developed by Singapore GP-appointed lighting consultants Valerio Maioli S.p.A., is the result of more than a decade of development at the Barcelona, Imola and Monza racing circuits, in order to meet the stringent requirements of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) sporting code. The Singapore street circuit will mark the first-ever use of the DigiFlag technology in a FORMULA 1™ event.
Thirty five display panels will be situated around the track. Controlled by hand-held panels operated by officials at each marshals' post, they will complement the traditional flag signals. In addition, the race director will have an overview of the warnings being displayed around the entire circuit, allowing more centralised and more efficient communication of warnings to drivers.
The announcement of the new 'DigiFlag' technology follows a successful week-long demonstration of the lighting units that will make history when Singapore hosts the world’s first night race on the FORMULA 1™ calendar. A mock-up of sixteen lighting projectors was set-up for a week from 29 March 2008 on a 64-metre stretch of St Andrew’s Road in front of the Padang, which in September will see the cars reaching up to 260 km/h.
In addition to allowing members of the public to view the lighting infrastructure, the mock-up gave an insight to the operation of the systems in all weather conditions. By September, the entire track will be fitted with nearly 1,500 lighting projectors which will be powered by 12 twin-power generators. The bespoke state-of-the-art lighting system consists of pylons and footing system supplied by Singapore contractors, projectors by Philips and aluminium trusses from Italy.
An overall average of about 3000lux level is required to illuminate the circuit, which is enough to meet High Definition television broadcast standards. As a result, the track will be almost four times brighter than a typical stadium. The demonstration also revealed that the lighting projectors are designed in such a way as to avoid glare to spectators as well as to ensure the safety of drivers during the race.
The live demonstration of the lighting system is the latest milestone as Singapore prepares for race day in September. Installation of the full lighting system will be carried out in stages, starting with the Pit Straight at the end of May with completion targeted for 31 August 2008, a month ahead of the race on 28 September.
About 2008 FORMULA 1™ SingTel Singapore Grand Prix
The inaugural 2008 FORMULA 1™ SingTel Singapore Grand Prix took place on 28 September 2008 on a street circuit of public roads around the Marina Bay area. The race was the first Formula One™ to be held at night, and the first Formula One™ street race in Asia. Over 100,000 spectators, a sell-out, capacity crowd, watched the Singapore Grand Prix trackside. Over 30 million TV viewers in the five main European markets of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, are estimated to have watched the live coverage of the race.
About Singapore GP Pte Ltd
Singapore GP Pte Ltd is the race promoter for the FORMULA 1™ SingTel Singapore Grand Prix. It holds five-year renewable rights to stage the Singapore Grand Prix, beginning with the 2008 Season. The company is a partnership between Komoco Motors Pte Ltd and regional events company Lushington Entertainments, via its parent company Reef Enterprises.