LONDON: Saudi Arabia on Tuesday marked the 300-day countdown to the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix with the unveiling of one of the championship’s most iconic structures – the Rolex arch – on the Jeddah Corniche.
The first official part of the build for December’s much-anticipated street race, the 7 meter high-by-16 meter wide arch was revealed along with bridges across the Corniche’s coastal pedestrian walkway.
The Rolex clock was set in motion by Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Al Faisal, chairman of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation (SAMF), which is helping to organize the race.
From Tuesday until at 7 p.m. local time on Dec. 5, the clock will count down to the lights out start of the Kingdom’s first Grand Prix.
“It was only a few months ago we announced the debut Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – and now we already have one of racing’s most recognizable structures on the ground here on the Jeddah Corniche,” Prince Khalid said. “Three hundred days to go may seem like a long time, but with all the hype, all the buzz, all the anticipation around the race, it is guaranteed to feel a lot quicker.
“Having this iconic Rolex countdown clock in situ here on the Corniche allows the Saudi people to savour every second of the build-up to what promises to be yet another incredible, landmark moment in our country’s history.
“It gives us great pleasure to bring this very first part of the true F1 experience to the people of Jeddah and know our motorsport-obsessed population will feel the same excitement we do upon seeing this first piece of our own race here on ground in Saudi Arabia.
“The countdown is well and truly on to the first ever Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix,” he added.
Prince Khalid said that the countdown clock will help people look forward to “this historical moment” in the Kingdom.
“We are confident that this event will offer a new and exceptional experience for the people of Jeddah and visitors to the city, and we are looking forward to it.”
The countdown clock is expected to become an important attraction for motorsport and Formula 1 fans, and will also offer photo opportunities for passers-by and residents.
The Formula 1 Saudi Grand Prix is the first collaboration in the long-standing partnership between Formula 1 and the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation. The event will wrap up an exciting year for motorsports in the Kingdom.