Turkey pitching for a Grand Prix

BACK in August we reported that Turkey was planning to pitch the FIA in the hope of landing a Formula 1 Grand Prix at some point in the years ahead. The country wants to use the sport to improve the country's image around the world and attract more tourists.

The project is being heavily pushed by Mumtaz Tahincioglu, the head of the Turkish Automobile Federation who recently won a seat on the FIA World Motor Sport Council. Tahincioglu says that the Turks have a site for the event in an abandoned coal mine in Kemerburgaz, in the suburbs of Istanbul. The site is owned by the government and has been looked at by the Tilke engineering group, which is the preferred builder of F1 circuits these days. The major problem is money with the Turkish club now trying to find $70m for the construction work. In addition to that the club will need to find the money for fees to convince the F1 authorities to visit Turkey. At the same time the country is trying to pass a law to allow tobacco advertising at an F1 race. Tobacco advertising is currently banned in Turkey.

Even if the money can be found and the tobacco law passed the Turks still face the problem that there are already too many races on the F1 calendar and there are several extremely well-funded projects already underway in Moscow and Bahrain.

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