Three of the corners on the Marina Bay street circuit which will play host to the second SingTel Singapore Grand Prix in September now sport new names, following a competition created in conjunction with Singapore newspaper Today
The response to the 'It's Your Turn' contest drew close to 1800 suggested names for the corners formerly known as turn one, turn seven and turn ten, with entries coming from as far afield as Spain, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Canada, belying Today
's status as a 'national' newspaper.
The panel of judges took into account names that were punchy, had a strong local connection and were easy to pronounce, but deciding on the eventual winners was still a tough task. However, greetings card designer Arthur Lim eventually won the top prize of two grandstand tickets, a pit-lane walkabout and trackside hotel room for the 2009 grand prix, with his suggestion that turn one should be renamed 'Sheares' in relation to the Benjamin Sheares Bridge which towers over the track at that point, and the fact that it 'also suggests speed and smoothness'.
Both the bridge and the corner take their name from Singapore's second president, who led the development of the island state from 1971 until his death in 1981. The submission beat off many who advocated a link with the winner of the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso, leaving the Spaniard to have to be content with second place.
Turn seven, which was the scene of some of the most spectacular overtaking moves during the 2008 race, will now be known as 'Memorial', due to its proximity to the imposing monument honouring civilian World War II victims. The 61-metre memorial is composed of four columns representing four races, joined at the base to symbolise unity.
Meanwhile, turn ten, with its triple apex that last year claimed Kimi Raikkonen and Giancarlo Fisichella among its victims, will now be named after Singapore's most famous cocktail, the 'Singapore Sling', which is said to have been invented by Ngiam Tong Boon at the Long Bar in the nearby Raffles Hotel.
“Just like any icon, the corner has to be treated with respect,” said Colin Syn, deputy chairman of the Singapore GP and member of the jury, “Drivers have to be careful here, but it can serve as a slingshot if they tackle it well. I guess after the exploits of some drivers last year, there could be jokes about a Wallbanger, but we chose to name the turn after the Singapore Sling because it is known internationally and fans everywhere can relate to it instantly.”