Oct07

A1 GP's Beijing street track shapes up

A map of the Beijing street circuit

Plans for a street race around Beijing have been revealed - but have yet to be signed off by the FIA, according to reports.

The Chinese capital is due to hold the third round of the A1 Grand Prix series on November 12, but concerns over the safety of the proposed circuit could prove a last-minute stumbling block.

The 1.894 mile/3.048km circuit is located approximately 10 miles to the south east of central Beijing in a high-technology economic development area. Yi Zhuang is located in Beijing’s south-east suburbs and is home to hundreds of multi-national companies and joint ventures. Companies with factories in Yi Zhuang include Nokia, Coca-Cola, GE and Mercedes-Benz.

Unlike Beijing's permanent Goldenport circuit, or Shanghai's opulent F1 circuit, the Yi Zhuhang street course would be easily accessible for spectators, with frequent bus and subway conncections. Cold winter weather could still affect fan turnout, however.

The track includes two long blasts along a dual carriageway - similar in style to the fabled Avus circuit in Germany. But it is these straights which are calling safety into question, according to Autosport magazine.

FIA safety delegate Roland Bruynseraede told the magazine that he "required more information" before he could sign off the layout, adding that the dual carriageway could be considered "a little" dangerous.

"Nobody has been there yet and we only saw this drawing two weeks ago. There is not enough information, so we will have to wait before making any decisions," he said.

Should the Beijing race go ahead, China will be the only country to host two events in the 2006-07 A1GP series.


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