Central roars with extreme F1 fun

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 June, 2011, 12:00am

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It was probably the first time in Hong Kong that extreme noise and pollution levels did not matter.

Red Bull Racing's Formula One car screeched through Central last night, filling the air with the smell of petrol.

Motor racing fans were out in force to watch rising star Jaime Alguersuari - who finished eighth in last weekend's Canadian Grand Prix driving for the Toro Rosso team - roar up and down Lung Wo Road.

As they strained to get the best vantage point to see the Formula One car in action, they gulped down the many tins of free Red Bull on offer - if they didn't get much sleep afterwards it might not have been solely because of the excitement of the event.

Bhavini Raval enjoyed the event but the 28-year-old teacher had one complaint. 'They keep playing loudly three songs by [American rock band] Nickelback on a loop,' she said. 'It's really annoying.'

Salesman Rick Chan, 28, looked on while sporting a Red Bull top he had bought in Thailand. But was it official Red Bull merchandise?

'I'm not sure. I bought it at a stall in Bangkok. It was very cheap.'

For company director Simon Chung it was a chance to get his five-year-old son Lucas into motor racing.

'My son loves to drive his little kid's go-kart so this was an opportunity for him see the real thing,' Chung said. 'It would be great to actually see a Formula One race take place here in Hong Kong.'

The event was no easy feat to organise. Red Bull contacted the Hong Kong Automobile Association late last year and asked the organisation, which promotes motor sport development and road safety, to work on the logistics.

'We worked with the police department, the Transport Department, the Security Bureau, the Highways Department, city hall, the environmental department, the Civil Engineering and Development Department, the crowd control division at the Home Affairs Department and St John Ambulance,' association chairman Wesley Wan Wai-hei said.

He is hoping this taste of Formula One action will be the first step to Hong Kong one day matching Singapore and hosting a grand prix.