Singapore is advanced in its preparations for F1's very first night race. So advanced in fact, that digital display flags will be in use there for the first time!

In Singapore, work is at such an advanced stage on the new Formula One race track that officials reckon by the time September 2008 rolls around, all will be ready for the rumble. Best of all, the lighting situation got a boost from the introduction of electronic flag displays. Coloured flags used by race officials to communicate with the drivers will be in action as digital displays as well.

Better for information control is the fact that info will be centralized, and therefore the race director will know exactly what is going on on different parts of the circuit. There will be 35 display panels all around the circuit and supplement hand-held flags. It will be the first time Digiflag technology is used in F1, after years of research and development.

By late May the service road and paddock tunnel, a new track section in front of the pit building will be completed. The lighting system, which is absolutely vital for the night race, is being installed in stages. Curiously the lights look to be only on one side of the track for most of it, but that could yet change. Sixteen lighting projectors were installed and tested last week on a 64-metre stretch. On this stretch or the rest of it, the cars will be doing about 260km/h. Illumination from the 1,500 projectors will be up to four times higher than that of a football stadium for example. Thus expect some really bright sparks in September.

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