Asian Le Mans adds new Korean track Autopia to schedule
|By Sam Tremayne||Tuesday, October 2nd 2012, 15:01 GMT|
The Asian Le Mans Series' inaugural season will include a round in South Korea at a newly-created circuit, organisers the Automobile Club de l'Ouest confirmed.
Construction work has already started on the Autopia track, which will measure 4.2km and is based in the country's Inje region, just 130km from the capital Seoul.
The event completes the planned six round 2013 calendar. As revealed by AUTOSPORT, the season will commence at Zhuhai and take in additional Chinese venues Shanghai and Ordos before moving to Mount Fuji in Japan and a finale in Sentul, Indonesia.
Inje governor Soon-Sun Lee said there was an appetite for the race and predicted it would boost the local economy.
"Every year millions of people come to Inje County to enjoy beautiful nature and leisure sports," he explained.
"With the Le Mans race, our region becomes more fascinating for tourists.
"The brand Le Mans is very well known in Korea and I'm sure many Korean motorsports and automobile fans will come to see the race, and that will boost the local economy."
Pierre Fillon, president of organising body the ACO, added: "South Korea is an important country in terms of business, in particular with an industry that's linked to a very dynamic motor car sector thanks to its major car constructors, accessory suppliers and big manufacturers.
"The Korean go-ahead spirit is an important guarantee for the development of our Le Mans races. We really had to be present in a particularly dynamic country of fifty million inhabitants."
It was confirmed in August that Super GT 300 entries will be eligible for the first year of the series.
South Korea hosted its first Formula 1 grand prix in 2010, although the future of the event has been questioned since.