Champagne parties to slake Singapore's need for speed

Wed Sep 24, 2008 4:53am EDT
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By Melanie Lee

SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) - With champagne parties and caviar, restaurants along the world's first night Formula One race circuit in Singapore are luring luxury-seeking speed lovers, and hoping the financial crisis won't put the brakes on it all.

Tickets of the hotly anticipated Singapore leg of the Grand Prix have sold out, so last-minute ticket hunters are turning to unconventional locations to view the race or seeking out bankers worried by the financial crisis selling discounted tickets.

Although the practice runs and the final race are from Sept 26 to 28, several nightclubs and banks are also planning social events around the week to lure the region's rich.

Among the eateries seeking to cash in on the race fever is French restaurant Le Saint Julien, located at a bend in the circuit, and which is offering grandstand-style seats and a three-day dinner package for $4,888 Singapore dollars ($3,462).

Another watering hole above the circuit, Axis Bar & Lounge, is offering 500 Singapore dollar packages for a view of the race and extravagant snacks.

"We have free flow of champagne, fresh oysters and canapes during the Pit-Stop Parties for guests," said Ruth Soh, spokeswoman for Mandarin Oriental hotel where the bar is located.

The F1 race in Singapore is a five km (3 mile) circuit, lit by powerful lamps, that snakes around the central business district and passes several historical monuments.

Millionaireasia magazine will be holding a private aviation show in Singapore coinciding with the F1 weekend for around 300 millionaires, said Brian Yam, the magazine's editor.   Continued...