Legislation, Environmentalists May Halt Plans For 2015 Formula One Race In Bangkok
Officials said that Bangkok's chances of hosting a lucrative F1 race "have faded after planners banned car racing from the city's historic quarter," according to the AFP. The city was touted to host a landmark F1 night race in '15, "with a track mooted for the tourist area around the Grand Palace and a number of major Buddhist temples." But Bangkok's Metropolitan Authority "have stymied the proposal with a law banning 'car racing' from the zone." City Planning Department Dir General Kriangphon Pattanarat said, "The law came into effect on May 16 prohibiting car racing in inner Bangkok because that area is a conservation for culture and arts" (AFP, 6/9). Bangkok Tourism & Sports Minister Somsak Phurisisak said that "plans could be scrapped" if the sport insists on the race being held in Bangkok, according to Alan Baldwin of REUTERS. Phurisisak: "We may have to cancel the proposed grand prix." He said that "the island resort of Phuket could be an alternative, along with the cities of Khon Kaen and Nakhon Ratchasima in northeast Thailand." Critics have said that the noise and vibrations of a race in Bangkok "could damage the city's historic landmarks and Buddhist temples" (REUTERS, 6/7).