GP organiser ropes in Indian beauty queen to promote race


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 29 Jan 2003

By RENEE CHOONG

SEPANG: What better way to promote the Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix in India than by having a Bollywood star-cum-beauty queen to do it. 

Sassy-looking Celina Jaitley from Mumbai has been commissioned to do just that and she is thrilled to pieces. 

INDIAN ALLURE...Bollywood star Celina Jaitley from Mumbai at the F1 race circuit in Sepang Tuesday. Jaitley, who was placed fourth in the Miss Universe 2001 pageant, will promote the Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix in India. The idea of using Jaitley to sell the race to the predominantly cricket-crazy Indians is an initiative of Sepang International Circuit Sdn Bhd, the organiser of the Malaysian GP.--STARpic by S.S. KANESAN.

“Formula One is the most glamorous sport one can be associated with and being the ambassador for the race and promote it in my country for the first time is an honour,” said the 21-year-old who won fourth place in the Miss Universe 2001 pageant.  

The idea of using Jaitley to sell the race to cricket-crazy Indians is an initiative of Sepang International Circuit Sdn Bhd (SIC). 

“Yes, cricket has always been the main sport in India but since the F1 is within Asian boundaries, we have observed the interest it has picked up, and there is a huge following out there,” said SIC senior manager of marketing communications Shuhainie Shamsudin at the Sepang F1 Circuit yesterday. 

She said that by using Jaitley’s popularity to promote the race in a supplement of The Times of India, which has a daily circulation of 150 million, SIC hoped to reach out to as many Indian F1 fans as possible.  

Jaitley will be featured in the pullout with scenes of the Sepang F1 Circuit, Petronas Twin Towers and other tourist attractions in Kuala Lumpur. 

“We will have SOTC (Kuoni India), a renowned sports travel agency, as our ticketing agent in India to push ticket sales,” said Shuhainie.  

Jaitley, who has been in the country for the past three days for photo shoots, said she couldn’t wait to return to Kuala Lumpur for the Malaysian GP on March 21-23.  

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