Girls and those speed machines

The space between the ground and the chassis and regulations for the construction of a car are not topics many youngsters will be interested in, one would think.

But those were the type of questions speakers from Singapore GP fielded at CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh).

Posed by girls, aged 13 to 16, no less.

Singapore GP, race promoters of Formula One's SingTel Singapore Grand Prix, visited the school to provide students with an insight into the world of professional racing.

Part of the "Rev Up Singapore" campaign, ahead of this year's night race along Marina Bay - from Sept 20 to 22, the organisers have been busy visiting secondary schools across the island this month, reaching out to more than 14,000 students.

Yesterday's visit to CHIJ was the second visit to an all-girls institution, after an earlier trip to Crescent Girls' School.

Around 1,400 girls were on hand as motorsports journalist Cheryl Tay and Singapore GP technical & race operations director, Lawrence Foo, gave a 40-minute talk on the ABCs of Formula One.

The presentation spanned a range of topics - from how a car is built around an F1 driver to interesting facts about Singapore's night race. The hosts also answered questions from the students after the presentation.

Said Foo: "We're very heartened to see the amount of interest generated by the Singapore GP school visit, especially among the young girls at CHIJ Toa Payoh.


"I was very impressed by the students, some of them even came up to me after the talk to ask further questions. Hopefully, our talk will inspire them to follow Formula 1 more closely."

Students were also treated to "racing" in a Singapore GP simulator, which provided a test of reflexes around a virtual Marina Bay street circuit.

Natasha Lowe, 16, who has watched the Singapore night race with her family the last few years, said she learned more about the sport and what goes on behind the scenes after the presentation.

"When I heard (about the talk), my classmates and I expected it to be really technical. But, we were surprised to learn a lot from it, and have fun at the same time," she said.

"One fact I found interesting is that each driver's seat is customised. You hear about the sport, but it's great to see and hear from someone who actually is involved in organising the event."

The Rev Up campaign will see a slew of activities ahead of the 2013 night race.

Among the new initiatives are a Pit Lane Walk for non-ticket holders, a carnival at the Institute of Technical Education and free preview screenings of Formula One-themed movie, Rush.

The organisers have already unveiled a starstudded line-up of headline acts for this year's race, including The Killers, Rihanna, Tom Jones and Bob Geldof.

For the first time since the inaugural race in 2008, there will be a concert on Monday (Sept 23), 24 hours after the race, with teen heartthrob Justin Bieber the star man at the Padang.

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