Thomson Road Grand Prix circuit

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Thomson Road Circuit
Thomson Road Circuit.svg
Location Singapore Old Upper Thomson Road [1]
Time zone GMT +8
Major events Singapore Grand Prix
Length4.865 km (3.023 mi)
Race lap record1:54.9 (Leo Geoghegan, Birrana, 1973)

The Thomson Road Grand Prix circuit was a former street circuit on Old Upper Thomson Road in Singapore. It hosted races from 1961 to 1973 under Formula Libre and Australian Formula 2 rules; races until 1965 are now considered part of the lineage of the Malaysian Grand Prix, and races after Singapore's independence in 1966 are considered part of the lineage of the Singapore Grand Prix. During the initial years, the main Motorcycle and Car Grand Prix lasted 60 laps, although this was eventually refined into two separate races - a preliminary 20 lap event followed by a 40 lap event. The first Singapore Grand Prix of 1961 was won by Ian Barnwell in an Aston Martin DB3S while the first Singapore Grand Prix of post-independence Singapore in 1966 (also run to Formula Libre rules) saw Lee Han Seng win in a Lotus 22 Lotus-Ford. The final victory went to Vern Schuppan in a March-Ford in 1973.

Street circuit motorsport track composed of public roads of a city

A street circuit is a motorsport racing circuit composed of temporarily closed-off public roads of a city, town or village, used in motor races. Facilities such as the paddock, pit boxes, fences and grandstands are usually placed temporarily and removed soon after the race is over but in modern times the pits, race control and main grandstands are sometimes permanently constructed in the area. Since the track surface is originally planned for normal speeds, race drivers often find street circuits bumpy and lacking grip. Run-off areas may be non-existent, which makes driving mistakes more expensive than in purpose-built circuits with wider run-off areas. Racing on a street circuit is also called "legal street racing".

Singapore Republic in Southeast Asia

Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign island city-state in Southeast Asia. The country is situated one degree north of the equator, at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, with Indonesia's Riau Islands to the south and Peninsular Malaysia to the north. Singapore's territory consists of one main island along with 62 other islets. Since independence, extensive land reclamation has increased its total size by 23%.

Formula Libre

Formula Libre is a form of automobile racing allowing a wide variety of types, ages and makes of purpose-built racing cars to compete "head to head". This can make for some interesting matchups, and provides the opportunity for some compelling driving performances against superior machinery. The name translates to "Free Formula" – in Formula Libre races the only regulations typically govern basics such as safety equipment.



In 1960, a Grand Prix was devised as part of the "Visit Singapore – The Orient Year" campaign to attract tourists to the region. At that time, Singapore lacked a formal racing circuit, and as a result, a new circuit had to be found. The initial suggestion for a street circuit that ran through Thomson, Whitley, Dunearn and Adam Roads was found to be unfeasible due to the massive traffic disruption it would cause to residents. After consideration of other existing circuits, it was decided that a new circuit would be created along the old and new Upper Thomson Road. [2]

Thomson Road, Singapore

Thomson Road is a major trunk road linking Singapore's central business district with the northern suburban areas. The road is named after John Turnbull Thomson, a Scotsman who was the Government Surveyor and Chief Engineer of the Straits Settlements from 1841 to 1853 and who helped build many roads into the interior of Singapore beyond the core of the city centre in the south.


The Thomson Road Grand Prix circuit measures 4.865 km or 3.023 miles long per lap and runs in a clockwise direction. [3] The circuit starts with the "Thomson Mile", a mile-long stretch along Upper Thomson Road. [2] Halfway through this stretch of road, there was "The Hump", a right hand turn that caused drivers to lift off the ground if they sped past this bend. [2]

Clockwise one that proceeds in the same direction as a clocks hands

Two-dimensional rotation can occur in two possible directions. A clockwise motion is one that proceeds in the same direction as a clock's hands: from the top to the right, then down and then to the left, and back up to the top. The opposite sense of rotation or revolution is counterclockwise (CCW) or anticlockwise (ACW).


The Thomson Road Grand Prix circuit had many challenging features, including the treacherous "Circus Hairpin" bends and the "Snakes" section. [4] In particular, the "Murder Mile" feature of this track derived its name from the fact that many racing accidents occurred along this stretch. Similarly, "Devil's Bend" got its name because it was the most dangerous part of the circuit. [2]

A total of seven lives were lost due to racing accidents in the 11 years history of the Singapore Grand Prix. Two lives were lost during the last two consecutive editions of the Grand Prix: [5] at the 1972 Grand Prix, Lionel Chan, the nephew of local racing champion Chan Lye Choon, died after falling into a ravine while in the 1973 edition, Swiss competitor Joe Huber died after crashing his car into a cable pole. [2]

Ravine Small valley, which is often the product of streamcutting erosion

A ravine is a landform that is narrower than a canyon and is often the product of streamcutting erosion. Ravines are typically classified as larger in scale than gullies, although smaller than valleys.

Safety concerns was the official reason cited for the cancellation of the 1974 edition of the Grand Prix that heralded the end of Singapore Prix until 2008. [6]

See also

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  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "First Singapore grand prix on Infopedia". National Library Board, Singapore. 2 December 2008. Archived from the original on 5 July 2015. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  3. Solomon, Eli (1 November 2008). Snakes & Devils: A History Of The Singapore Grand Prix. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish. ISBN   9789812615848.
  4. "Yolo isn't just a hashtag". Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth . Archived from the original on 6 July 2015. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  5. "A history of the Singapore Grand Prix". ESPN . Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  6. "First Singapore Grand Prix is Held at Thomson Road Circuit". National Library Board, Singapore. 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2015.

Coordinates: 01°22′59.52″N103°49′8.78″E / 1.3832000°N 103.8191056°E / 1.3832000; 103.8191056