As checkered flags waved over the first-ever 2009 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit, the track made history as the world's first twilight run of a Formula One™ event. The victories capped the development team's goal to build a facility unlike any other on the F1 tour. Owners succeeded in setting the 3.4 mile circuit and drag strip apart with unique features such as ornate cultural architecture, a sophisticated yacht club and marina on the Persian Gulf, and the Yas Marina Hotel, the world's only lodging with an F1 track winding through it. While providing spectacular scenery, the rocky conditions added unusual engineering complexities to the 600 million-lumen lighting plan executed in less than 300 days. Despite the site challenges, Musco crews installed nearly 4,700 fixtures throughout the facility to provide quality illumination for 50,000 spectators and 500 million television viewers on ESPN. To alleviate concerns about a seamless transition from day to night during the 55-lap race, the lights were turned on before the race to ensure that as natural light conditions changed, those on the track remained constant.
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“Staging Formula One's first-ever day/night race offers us the unique opportunity to demonstrate the circuit's inbuilt flexibility and state-of-the-art facilities.”
— Richard Cregan
CEO Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management