Night race a 'world event' Tan Teng Lip is proud of

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Motor Sports Association (SMSA) is the local sanctioning body for the Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix.

This year's race will be held from Friday to Sunday.

Every year, one of their officials plays a key role in the fate of the drivers who roar down the Marina Bay street circuit.

The SMSA provides a race steward to supplement and assist three other international members led by former Formula 1 driver, Derrick Warwick.

This group have the power to impose various penalties on a driver if he commits an offence during a race.

The SMSA will also provide three stewards for the support races of the Singapore Grand Prix.

Speaking to The New Paper on Monday, Tan Teng Lip, the president of the SMSA, said: "It's a street race, so many organisations are involved in the set-up, from the Government to the Land Transport Authority. And Singapore GP are the race promoters.

"Of course, as a national event, we will play our part."

Tan calls the race the "biggest world event in Singapore".

"Even in the past, when the Grand Prix was held at Upper Thomson Road, everyone in the country would look forward to it," he said.

While the Grand Prix on Sunday obviously takes centrestage during the three-day event, Tan gives special attention to the support races.

This year, the Porsche Carrera Cup and GP2 races will act as curtain-raisers for the main event.

"The GP2 serves as a feeder race to Formula 1; a number of drivers have graduated from there (Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, to name a few). So it's always interesting to watch," said Tan, who in 2009, was elected into the FIA's World Motor Sport Council.

"In the Porsche Carrera Cup, we have two local drivers in the race now (Yuey Tan and Ringo Chong).

"Having a local flavour to the race is definitely one way of sustaining interest in the whole affair."

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