Singapore Grand Prix 1961 to 1973: Upper Thomson Racing Circuit

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Singapore Grand Prix 1961 to 1973: Upper Thomson Racing Circuit

I invite you to take a walk with me at the old Upper Thomson Circuit where Singapore held its very first Singapore Grand Prix back in 1961!

When and where

Date and time

Location

Springleaf MRT Station (TE4) 825 Upper Thomson Road Singapore, 787140 Singapore

Map and directions

How to get there

About this event

Tonight, 2nd October 2022, The Singapore Formula One Grand Prix 2022 starts at 8pm (at the Marina Bay Circuit). But today, this morning, I invite you to take a walk with me at the old Upper Thomson Circuit (where Singapore held its very first Singapore Grand Prix back in 1961).

For many in Singapore, the motor sports arena started with the Formula One back in 2008. This isn’t exactly quite true. Motor sports in Singapore started way back in 1961 when we saw the very first Singapore Grand Prix at the Upper Thomson Circuit. It started out raw - with lots of burning passion. It was a 4.8- kilometre circuit along part of Upper Thomson Road and Old Upper Thomson Road.

The roads back then were small and tight with many sweeping bends. And all bends had beautiful relevant names like The Snakes, Devil’s Bend, The Long Loop and The Murder Mile. It was a simple 2 lane tarmac road. Over-taking the competitor was a real challenge fraught with risk with no room for error – imagine Max Verstappen breathing down Lewis Hamilton (Lewis in a Mini Cooper and Max in a Lotus Cortina!).

Some paid for it in spectacular crashes, and some paid very dearly with their life. The spectators were an unforgiving lot. They simply loved to see these crashes, especially at the stretch between Peak’s Bend and Range Hairpin. Whichever way we look at it, the old Upper Thomson Racing Circuit was a very dangerous one. And so, the curtain finally came down on it in 1973.

Today, much of the circuit is still intact. But it is a much-improved road – and a beautiful one too! There is nothing to tell that this part of the world was once a spectacular motor racing scene. This morning, we’ll take a slow 4.8-kilometre walk through the entire circuit. The fastest lap taken on this track was 1 minute and 54.9 seconds – in 1973 by Australian Leo Geoghegan. But we are in no hurry. We’ll take our time.

We’ll debate if Max could beat Lewis on this stretch back in the 60s…

Meet me at 9am on the 2nd October 2022, Exit 2, at Springleaf MRT station.

Uncle Chris Walking Tours - Tel: 91814298 – chrisng@footworksmedia.com.sg

Note:

  • We do the world wide practice of tipping at the end of the tour.
  • We also reserve the right to accept or reject habitual late cancellations and No Shows.
Free