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Volume 6 No. 212


Sochi "has also been burning the midnight oil to prepare its new track for demonstration races taking place on Friday," according to Anna Lidster of AL JAZEERA. The organizing team "has been working day and night to make sure the Sochi Olympic Park Circuit," which is being built around the site of the Winter Olympic Village, "is completed ahead of the motorsport show 'Formula Sochi 2013.'" When completed, the 3.7 mile track "will become the third longest circuit on the racing calendar, behind Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium and Britain’s Silverstone." Oleg Zabara, the deputy general director of Formula Sochi, a division of the construction company "Omega," which is contracted to build the track, said that "there was still some work to do." Zabara: "We are still very busy. Although the track is ready to hold the demonstration race, there is some room for finishing touches." The first teams to try the new track at the Sochi Olympic park "will be the Swiss Sauber and Russian team Marussia." Although the organizing committee "is confident about the Sochi track, there are concerns that the Russian project might fail." Racing expert Oksana Kosachenko thinks that "the country’s luck of experience hosting major international motorsport events may have a bearing on the debut race." She said, "We don’t have experience hosting major international competitions as a result the organising committee is facing a wall of challenges. One of them is the lack of experienced staff in the country." Another pressing issue "is the low popularity of motorsport in Russia" (AL JAZEERA, 9/26).

COSTS: The SID reported "the construction costs for the Sochi F1 race course keep climbing." Russian business newspaper Vedomosti reported that "constructions costs are currently at" about €260M ($351M). In comparison to its original buget of €142M ($191M), the construction costs have increased by 70% (SID, 9/26).