As part of ‘artomobile’ I have painted a Lotus 22 and a Lotus Cortina to celebrate 50 years since the first Singapore Grand Prix.
In 1966, Singapore held the first Singapore Grand Prix as an independent country. In previous years, it had been called the Malaysian Grand Prix and back in 1961, while it was called the Singapore Grand Prix, this was prior to Singapore’s independence in 1965. The race was held on the Sembawang Circuit at Thomson Road. Many high profile drivers were among the entrants, including Greg Cusack from Australia, Albert Poon from Hong Kong and the local favourite, Lee Han Seng from Singapore. A press reception greeted the racers out at Paya Lebar Airport with such fan fare!
Grand Prix Main Event – Lotus 22
This 60 lap race was an exciting one with Greg Cusack out in front for most the race and Albert Poon and Lee Han Seng hot on his trail. At Lap 17, Cusack was well in front by 2 minutes, but a lengthy refuelling stop brought him back to the pack and gave Poon the lead with Lee Han Seng in third. By Lap 38, Cusack had zoomed his way back to second place just ahead of Lee Han Seng, but just as he was heading into Devil’s Bend, the car spun out into the embarkment putting Cusack out of the race. As luck would have it for Lee Han Seng, Poon bowed out with engine failure on the same lap. This left Lee Han Seng to speed across the finish line to the chequered flag, setting a new course record of 2 hours and 29 minutes 41.8 secs in his Lotus 22. Victory to Lee Han Seng!! His first major trophy in 5 years of racing.
Saloon and Tourers Race – Lotus Cortina
This 1600cc class race was a battle set up between Albert Poon from Hong Kong and Steve Harvey from Australia. Driving his Lotus Cortina, Albert Poon won this 15 lap race in 39 mins and 13.3 secs, but only by the narrowest of margins, with Steve Harvey on 2.2 secs behind him in his Mini Cooper S. Poon reported to the newspaper that it was his “toughest race ever” while Steve Harvey had to withdraw from the Main GP event as he
reported he had “thrashed his car too severely”.