By Andy Sambidge
Crown Prince inaugurates 'significant upgrade' to turn Grand Prix in April into night event
A new permanent lighting system has been launched at the Bahrain International Circuit which will see the Middle East’s first full length Formula 1 night race being held in April.
Bahrain's Crown Prince Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa said the state-of-the-art lighting system, the most dramatic upgrade in the BIC’s history, will turn the 10th anniversary F1 Grand Prix into a night race on April 6.
The new lighting system, which consists of 495 light posts positioned around the track, will also enable the night race to be filmed in HD, a statement posted on Bahrain News Agency read.
Prince Salman said the new lighting system was a "highly significant upgrade" and demonstrated the kingdom’s commitment to promoting motorsport in the Middle East.
The light posts stand between 10 and 45 metres high, produce 4,500 luminaries and require 500km of cabling around the circuit.
The system can also be rearranged to accommodate a variety of international, regional, and national racing formats at the BIC, the statement said.
Other improvements include upgrades to the existing spectator and vending area lighting as well as installation of new effect lighting to enhance and support the visual spectacle of night-time racing.
Singapore currently hosts Formula One's only full night race, with Abu Dhabi's day-to-night event with the sun setting during the race.