Turkey to Push One More Race off Calendar

The Turkish Grand Prix is expected to force another race off the Formula One calendar when it makes its debut in 2005, according to the head of country's motorsport federation Mumtaz Tahincioglu.

Turkey to Push One More Race off Calendar

The Turkish Grand Prix is expected to force another race off the Formula One calendar when it makes its debut in 2005, according to the head of country's motorsport federation Mumtaz Tahincioglu.

Tahincioglu confirmed that he signed a long-term agreement with Formula One's commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone last week and that Turkey will be given a place on the calendar for 2005.

And, after the arrival of Bahrain and China at the expense of Austria and Canada next year, Tahincioglu is tipping another current venue to be forced to make way the season after next.

"It's on," Tahincioglu told Atlas F1. "We have planned and signed a contract for the race to begin in 2005. I was in London with Mr Ecclestone last Friday and we signed a seven-year deal with options for a further five.

"As far as I am aware, the calendar is unlikely to expand and so he will have to have somebody go out for us to come in. He has already done that for next year so I am sure he has plans already for 2005."

The 5.3km track, which was initially designed by Formula One circuit guru Hermann Tilke, will be located just 30km from Turkey's capital city, Istanbul, and will be the third new venue on the calendar in two years.

It represents the culmination of a long-term plan for Turkey to involve motorsport as an integral part of their tourism industry and is expected to bring significant financial gain as a result.

The groundbreaking ceremony, Tahincioglu confirmed, will take place next Wednesday and he added: "All the designs and plans are done and the companies involved in the construction have all been chosen. We are starting next week.

"Our federation has been working for the last few years and we always had Formula One in mind when we started our motorsport development in Turkey by entering the European rally championship.

"We aimed to get a World Rally Championship round in 2003 and we did that and we planned to put Turkey on the Formula One calendar in 2005 and we have done that. It has all been planned very well."

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