Power couple 'married' full-time to S'pore Grand Prix

Power couple 'married' full-time to S'pore Grand Prix
Motor sports nuts Gabriel and Janette Tan first helped out at carpark rallies, but quit their jobs to join the Singapore GP team when the opportunity arose. Five years on, they are still so passionate about their work that they even discuss issues during breakfast.

SINGAPORE - He worked in corporate communications for a decade while she is an engineer by training.

But, together, Gabriel and Janette Tan make for the power couple of operations at the Formula One SingTel Singapore Grand Prix.

"We're like a tag team," said Gabriel who, later this week, will take his place as clerk of the course for a fifth straight year.

As the most senior local race official, the 45-year-old will work closely with Charlie Whiting of the International Automobile Federation to keep the sport's only full night race running smoothly.

As race director, Whiting has overriding authority on the start and suspension of the race, as well as the deployment of the safety car.

All other responsibilities, such as the coordinating of marshals to clear the track of debris and ensuring that the race adheres to the two-hour time limit, fall under Gabriel's purview.

Janette is one of the four assistant clerks of the course and deals with trackside matters such as the ordering of equipment as well as the training, allocation and welfare of marshals.

"It may sound simple but there are 1,100 of them," the 34-year-old said.

The couple, who tied the knot in June 2011, were speaking to The Sunday Times in a quiet and peaceful Singapore Grand Prix race control room.

A week to race day, the air-conditioned space represented a stark contrast to the rest of the Marina Bay Street Circuit, with its 47 television screens showing construction work at various sectors.

All of that will change by the time the first car takes to the track on Friday.

"It's a high-pressure environment," Gabriel said. "Even in my fifth year as clerk of the course, it still gets to me."

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