Bangsaen Speed Festival

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Held from the 11th to 15th of July, Bangsaen Street Circuit played host to arguably one of the most intense races of the Thailand Super Series calendar. We’ve seen race-prepped beasts charging down Sepang in Malaysia as well as Chang International Circuit and Bira International Circuit in Buriram and Pattaya respectively, but nothing can challenge the appeal of competing in a temporary circuit by the coast in Chon Buri province, where pace and precision is amplified and any mistake would have catastrophic consequences for drivers (and even fans!).

The Bangsaen street circuit can be considered a modern creation, but its layout definitely harks back to a different era. More Macau than Singapore in style, it blasts around the twisty streets of the seaside town in Chon Buri province. Host to the end-of-season Speed Festival, Bangsaen has become a firm fixture on the Thailand Super Series and TCR calendars.

The race was first organised in 2007, headed by local politician and Porsche racer Sonthaya Khunpluem. From relatively small beginnings with a handful of races for local categories (including a dusk into night saloon car race), the event has quickly gained momentum, with increasingly exotic machinery taking part.

Indeed, Thailand as a whole has seen an explosion of interest in motorsport, with the visit of a diverse range of international series on two and four wheels fueling the local racing scene.

After only minor alterations from its first running, it became clear that more significant upgrades would be required if the event was to continue to grow. Once safety regulations were well in place, Bangsaen has enjoyed a selection of GT3 cars in its GTM Supercars category, plus the debut of the TCR Thailand series on the street circuit, as well as Super Pickup truck racers.

This season, spectators were able to witness three races – the Thailand Super Car GTM (Round 6), Thailand Super Car GTM Plus (Round 6) and the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia (Round 5). Rather than focusing on the races, we’d figured out that it might be more relatable exploring the opportunity to take part in the festivities instead! Travelling to Bangsaen might sound like a daunting task, but some research via Google Maps will result in a driving route that is fairly straightforward from Thailand’s Suvanarbhumi Airport.

Bangsaen itself comes alive at weekends thanks to its popularity with Thais. The circuit is based in the northern portion of the town and an hour’s drive from the airport. For a more relaxing experience, we recommend taking a taxi from the airport. But those who might want to venture to other provinces before or after the event might opt to rent a car. After all, Pattaya is not more than an additional 50km south of Bangsaen! We highly recommend petrolheads to visit Bangsaen, as this unique experience on the temporary circuit exudes a charm that can never be replicated in Singapore!

[Pictures]
Vince Carlo Photography

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