The Singapore Grand Prix is back at Marina Bay next weekend and even as the Formula One teams fly in for the only night race of the season, the city is showcasing a wealth of glamour and entertainment to keep race-goers happy.
The street circuit will as usual be lit up by a system consisting of 108,423 metres of power cables, 240 steel pylons and 1,600 light projectors, meeting the total power requirement of 3.1 million watts - four times brighter than the lighting used for sports stadiums. The reconfiguration of the chicane at Turn 10, known as the Singapore Sling, to a single-apex left-hander remains in place and in addition to the Formula One race, the circuit will also host the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia and a Masters Historic Race. Singtel, which had been the main sponsor since the inaugural race in 2008 is this year replaced by Singapore Airlines, though the lion's share of the race and its supporting activities is funded by the Singapore government.
More than 200,000 spectators are expected to flock the Marina Bay Street Circuit, with the better-heeled taking full advantage of the hospitality options offered by the Formula One Paddock Club, Sky Suite, Club Suite and the Green Room, all of which offer unparalleled views complemented by the finest cuisine and wines.
Spectators in the Turn 1 grandstands will experience the awesome braking power of Formula One cars as they negotiate the first corner after reaching of 290km/h along the pit straight. The Turn 2 stands offer a superior vantage view of the first three turns of the track and of the cars exiting the pit lane, while those at Turn 3 can watch the drivers competing for rare overtaking opportunities at Sheares before braking to 90km/h as they tackle Turn 3, pick up speed and go full throttle down Republic Boulevard.
But the Singapore Grand Prix is far from being just about racing. From Friday through Sunday night, spectators can enjoy high-octave entertainment on eight stages as well as performances by several roving performers, the UK's Living Topiary, Champagne Showgirls from the US and the City State's very own Cayote Ugly, among them.
The largest outdoor stage is Padang in Zone 4, which can accommodate up to 60,000 people. On Friday night it will be shaking to the sounds of Asia's biggest rock band MayDay. The Taiwanese rockers are known for their highly energetic live performances and will be playing a selection of tracks off their eight albums. On Saturday, solo artist Robbie Williams takes the stage while closing out the 2014 Grand Prix season on Sunday night is pop diva Jennifer Lopez.
There are more concerts by at the Village Stage with the highlights being the Pet Shop Boys, Ziggy Marley, making his debut appearance in Singapore, and soul crooner John Legend.
The other stages play host to a range of artists, among them Seasick Steve from the US, Britain's Richard Blues and songstress Lura from Cape Verde.
Magic is in the air too, with illusionists like American Andrew Mayne and Australian Cosentino making the impossible look easy at other stages near the track. Drama fans can enjoy theatrical performances by Lady in the Moon, which presents the traditional values of tenacity, courage and selflessness and world-renowned sand artist Ilana Yahav, who uses only her fingers to create wonderful and magical stories. Poland's only glass music group Anna and Arkadiusz Szafraniec is also in town and promises an exciting performance.
The nights are never ending throughout all three race days thanks to special events put on by the city's top dining and nightlife places. 1-Altitude hosts the "Sky Grand Prix" event with a stunning view of the circuit, fashion shows and live DJ shows.
Potato Head Folk invites punters to enjoy a pop-up jazz celebration as part of Gin Jubilee - about all things Gin, while Amber Lounge delivers a non-stop nightlife experience that includes the famed Amber Lounge Fashion Show, a stalwart of the Monaco Grand Prix, featuring Formula One drivers as its models.
Full-moon party venue Full Steam Ahead at Tanjong Beach Club has DJ Aldrin manning the decks and Podium Lounge goes more formal with a race dinner and party together with a live auction of Formula One memorabilia. Gardens by the Bay - one of the top 10 indoor gardens of the world - offers free admission to the OCBC Skyway for holders of the Standard Double Conservatories Ticket to the Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. The promotional period runs from September 12 to 30.
Raring to go
The Singapore Grand Prix runs from September 19 to 21. Tickets are S$298 (Bt7,600) to S$1,288. Three-day passes are also available.
For information, visit www.SingaporeGP.sg.