Red Bull not red shirts

17 12 2010

It seems that the king has a penchant for Formula 1 racing. Maybe it passes the time when he’s “physical therapying” hospital if he watches it on the TV. The Bangkok Post has a remarkably long report on the visit of Red Bull’s Mark Webber. The rport fails to mention the king wanting to see his car, but the picture attests to it.

Here’s part of the report and the photo:

More than 10,000 people are expected to book their places along the sides of Ratchadamnoen Klang Avenue to see Red Bull racer Mark Webber drive his RB26 car on the 107-year-old road.

The idea of turning Ratchadamnoen Avenue into a race track is not new. Prince Birabongse Bhanudej Bhanuban – better known as Prince Bira – planned to close roads in the Sanam Luang and Ratchadamnoen area in 1939 for a “Bangkok Grand Prix”. But Prince Bira’s dream was dashed when World War II broke out. [PPT: his F1 results are: Races 19, Championships 0, Wins 0, Podiums 0, Career points 8, Pole positions 0, Fastest laps 0]

Australian Webber, who finished third in the world championship this year, arrived in Bangkok yesterday. He then went to sign a get-well book for His Majesty the King at Siriraj Hospital….

Red Bull Beverage managing director Saravudh Yoovidhya said the exhibition is part of the celebrations of the King’s 84th birthday and Red Bull Racing’s drivers’ and constructors’ world titles.

Today’s three-lap course will get under way at Phan Fa Bridge, pass Democracy Monument and circle at Khok Wua intersection where the race will also finish.

After the king himself, Red Bull owner Chaleo Yoovidhya is one of Thailand’s richest men. PPT has no idea what his links are to the palace, but it ranks as a very big deal to have the long-hospitalized king come out for a Red Bull car. There’s something going on. And it probably works both ways. The king annoits an event (on what he probably thinks is royal real estate) and Red Bull get local publicity and its bosses are seen as good royalists.

There’s also a whiff of the royals wanting to “take back” Rajadamnoen and Khok Wua from the red shirts. This does it with an alleged royal heritage to a racing prince on ground where the royal family has landholdings.

Meanwhile, red shirts are planning to rally at Rajaprasong on Sunday.


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2 05 2020
Sufficiency manure | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] is often the case, the Red Bull moneybags are “donating” to celebrate monarchy and cement their place in […]