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Phuket Sports: Rumors, rivals and Renault – F1

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Sports: Rumors, rivals and Renault – F1 | The Thaiger

PHUKET: The Sports Authority of Thailand has confirmed that a six-kilometer Formula One circuit will be created near the Royal Thai Naval Dockyard in Bangkok, possibly with the main stands in the Chao Phraya river. There are plans for an inaugural F1 night race in 2015. Red Bull is a keen backer. Interestingly, the Malaysian GP at Sepang is probably up for renewal in 2015, so Bangkok may be looking to replace Kuala Lumpur.

Sepang has been criticized for the rubbish said to be littered all over the place. But more importantly in 2008, Sepang announced its aim to become F1’s second night race from 2009, to fit in well with European TV schedules. However, the organizers later confirmed that they would not stage a night race, but a late-afternoon one. The 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix did indeed adopt a late afternoon start, which proved disastrous. Heavy rainfall and poor drainage ended the race on Lap 33. There have been plenty of other problems, including a very late start in 2012. So Sepang is vulnerable and Bangkok may have timed a rival bid very well.

In other news, Maria de Villota is set to return to the F1 paddock in Spain for the first time since her awful accident in England. I am sure the brave and glamorous Marussia test-driver will be a big hit, sporting a piratical eye-patch. And Bernie Ecclestone is planning to team up two partners to buy the Long Beach Grand Prix and reinstall F1 there from 2016, 33 years after the last race in Southern California.

But this weekend we are off to the Spanish GP in Catalunya, Barcelona. The track is well known to all teams because of the time spent there during winter testing. The 4.655km Circuit de Catalunya is a medium downforce, medium engine demand track, and a lot of engine and chassis decisions are based around it. Catalunya has always been a difficult circuit for overtaking. But the introduction of a second DRS zone will help. The undulating nature of the track stresses every component of the engine. If engines are going to blow, this is a circuit that encourages it.

Track conditions can change a lot during the weekend, so a good set-up is a challenge. The track layout, with its high average speed, is hard on tyres, and this is likely to prove crucial. A variety of low and medium speed corners push engines in the lower rev ranges, particularly in sector three, but half of the track is taken at full throttle.

The longest full throttle is the pit straight. This allows a fully charged KERS to be deployed twice as the KERS energy counter resets on the start/finish line. A double KERS release also puts a lot of stress on the KERS cooling system, so look out for a few failures.

Pirelli has a revised version of their hard tyre for Spain; closer to the 2012 tyre. It has a wider working temperature window but delivers less. This should provide an even wider variety of race strategies than before. The medium tyre will be significantly faster and well suited to qualifying. The hard tyre will be the preferred race tyre.

I would expect to see Renault engines doing well here – Lotus, Red Bull, Williams and Caterham. So I believe we will see a Lotus on the podium, and maybe two. A Red Bull should be there too.

Traditionally teams bring upgrades to this race. Force India has come tantalisingly close to a podium finish this season; could Catalunya do it for them? Williams will have a number of upgrades, and since they won here last year, they may pull another rabbit out of a helmet.

Can McLaren squeeze a podium finish? They are playing down their strength, but who knows if Jenson Button can smooth his way through? I doubt if Mercedes or Sauber has a winning package.

So it’s set to be exciting.

Join me by the big screen at Phuket’s Green Man, Chalong (click here for map) on Saturday at 7pm for the qualifiers and on Sunday at 7pm for the race.

— The Digby

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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Bangkok

The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations

The Thaiger

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The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Hello Phuket – destined for huge tourist growth in the next six years – fodors.com

In 2018, international tourist arrival traffic grew by 6% to reach a total of 1.4 billion world tourists, according to research by UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. And there’s a lot more to come with international travel predicted to increase by a massive 35% over the next six years to 2025.

But where is all that extra traffic going to go? Which destinations are quiet now that might be swarming with tourists in the years to come? Two destinations in Thailand are set for a prosperous future, according to the data. Whilst almost all the growth is excepted to be to Asian destinations, an under-visited resource for world tourism so far.

Euromonitor data has been used to simulate tourist growth models and reveal the fastest growing projected visitor arrivals in major cities and destinations around the world for 2025, compared to arrival figures in 2018.

In Thailand, Phuket’s tourist traffic is poised to increase up to 85% in the next six years, from nearly 12 million arrivals in 2018 to over 22 million in 2025. Bangkok is predicted to see the 8th most prolific rise in tourist traffic, with arrivals in Bangkok set to swell an additional 68% during the same period. Doha, the capital of Qatar, is set to explode with 104% increase in traffic over the next six years.

The data also predicts that both Bangkok and Phuket will rebound big time in 2020, Phuket in particular with a growth of around 20% for the next year, accord to the data from TravelSupermarket.com.

By 2025 the data predicts that Bangkok will be the world’s #1 tourist destination, a position it’s held before in recent years. The Thai capital will be followed by Singapore, Dubai, Phuket and Kuala Lumpur, making South East Asia the world’s emerging tourism hotspot.

Some of the world’s favourites – New York, Paris, London – will continue to grow their tourist numbers but not at the rate of most Asian destinations.

You can read the full list HERE.

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

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Phuket

Rawai beachfront water shut-off tomorrow for mains works

The Thaiger

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Rawai beachfront water shut-off tomorrow for mains works | The Thaiger

The Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority says Rawai’s mains water supply will be shut off tomorrow (Tuesday, October 15) as new water pipes are fitted in front of The Title Beach Front condo resort complex on the town’s beachfront.

The mains water supply will be shut off from 9am until 4:30pm along the beachfront strip.

The PWA says the areas affected will be along Wiset Road along the Rawai beachfront road, as well as Soi Yanui and Soi Ruafaed.

Residents and businesses are being urged to collect water for use during the day today, before tomorrow morning’s shut-off.

As usual, the PWA say…“We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

Contact the Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority on 076 319173 or 082 7901634 for more details.

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