F1-quality racetrack coming up in JB

F1-quality racetrack coming up in JB
Singapore tycoon Peter Lim's planned race circuit in Iskandar is revving up to be more than just a playground for the fast and furious.

SINGAPORE - Singapore tycoon Peter Lim's planned race circuit in Iskandar is revving up to be more than just a playground for the fast and furious. It could potentially rival Singapore and Sepang as a Formula One venue.

FASTrack Autosports, a venture between Mr Lim and the Johor royal family, which is undertaking the project, has decided to build an F1T-grade facility. F1T stands for Formula One Test.

It was slated as a Grade 2 track - for all races except F1 - when the project was first announced last year.

FASTrack chief executive Barry Kan said the company decided to upgrade to F1T when it found that it cost only about 10 per cent more to do so.

At a cost of just under $100 million, the track is part of a $1.4 billion motorsports hub project undertaken by FASTrack and Malaysian state-owned real estate company UEM Land.

On whether it will compete with Singapore and Sepang as a future F1 venue, Mr Kan said the circuit will have all the technical requirements necessary for Formula One races.

"F1 teams can test their cars here, but whether a circuit is an F1 track depends on one man," he said, referring to F1 czar Bernie Ecclestone.

Compared to a Grade 2 track, the 4.5km F1T circuit will have gentler gradients, wider run-off areas, stronger barriers, and a long straight stretching over 1km that will allow cars to breach 300kmh.

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