Rival Groups Battle Over Proposed Greek Grand Prix
The Greek government’s decision to "invest heavily" in the construction of a new F1 circuit near the port of Patras has "sparked a furious response from the business consortium behind a similar project" in the Athens suburb of Piraeus, according to Quentin Spurring of AUTO WEEK. The Piraeus consortium, which trades as DielpisF1, has "formalized its bid" through Greek national motorsports body ELPA, and has already "received a personal nod" from F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone. It has issued a statement "denying that its rival, Avtokinitodromio Patras, can claim any candidacy" for a Greek Grand Prix. A DielpisF1 founder accused the partners in Avtokinitodromio Patras, which include a number of local civic bodies, of using “organized disinformation” to attract investors. The Ministry of Regional Development in Athens has committed a subsidy of $37.5M toward the $122M budget of Avtokinitodromio Patras, which intends to build the track in Xalandritsa, a Patras suburb about 130 miles from Athens. However, DielpisF1 "has been working for a long while" on a project adjacent to Piraeus, which lies on the outskirts of the capital. This project is based on a big, disused industrial site on the coast in the municipality of Keratsini-Drapetsona, only 30 miles from Athens Int'l Airport. Greece is "hoping to have a suitable racing facility ready" in time to host F1 by '16 (AUTOWEEK.com, 11/12).