Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India President Vicky Chandhok "has warned that this weekend's grand prix at the Buddh Int'l Circuit (BIC) near Delhi could be the last held in the country," according to Paul Weaver of the London GUARDIAN. The race "has already been dropped from next year's provisional schedule and, although a return has been planned for 2015, nothing has been finalised." Chandhok said, "If it doesn't come back in 2015, it may never come back at all. That is my concern. Once you lose a race it can be gone for ever." A "combination of India's declining economic situation and increased competition from other countries led to India dropping off next year's itinerary." The future of the Indian GP will be decided between F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone and the sponsors Jaypee Sports. Ecclestone said in the summer, "We think it is best not to have a race [in India] in 2014 and have one in 2015. We will have to club India with the four rounds in the Asia Pacific region." Chandhok "would like to see the government get involved." He said, "The government should take a look because the Indian Grand Prix is good for the country and is now a wonderful facility" (GUARDIAN, 10/22).
Events and Attractions
EPL club Tottenham welcomed the NFL San Francisco 49ers into its training headquarters on Monday "for a community event for young children," according to Sunni Upal of the London DAILY MAIL. The 49ers "landed in England earlier in the day ahead of their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley this weekend." The event, designed to get children playing 60 minutes of sport a day, "saw the 49ers players participate in the British version of football, while Spurs players tried their hand at American football." The 49ers "flew to Heathrow straight from Tennessee, where they beat the Titans 31-17 on Sunday, rather than heading home to the West Coast first." Tottenham Chair Daniel Levy and 49ers Chair John York "exchanged team shirts during the event" and upon receiving a San Francisco jersey, Levy joked, "We don’t do red at Tottenham" (DAILY MAIL, 10/21).
Sunrise Group Chair Hsu Tien-ya, whose company is the 2013 LPGA Taiwan Championship's title sponsor, said on Tuesday that "he is uncertain if the Taiwan LPGA event will continue next year," according to the CNA. Tien-ya: "Maybe no, and maybe yes." The Sunrise Golf & Country Club is hosting the LPGA tournament for the third year in a row, the final year of a three-year contract with the U.S.-based LPGA. Hsu, who is also president of the Golf Association of the Republic of China, said that he hopes a new sponsor "can take over the tournament in the future." This year's event, which carries a purse of $2M, will tee off on Thursday at the Sunrise Golf and Country Club in Taoyuan, Taiwan (CNA, 10/22).
Golfer Jose Maria Olazabal said that the inaugural FedExCup-style Final Series that tees off in Shanghai this week "will give the European Tour a much-needed shot in the arm," according to Tony Jimenez of REUTERS. While the rival PGA Tour "goes from strength to strength," the European circuit "has struggled for sponsors and been badly hampered by the absence of headline attractions" like Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood. With the majority of the triumphant 2012 Ryder Cup team basing themselves on the other side of the Atlantic this season, CEO George O'Grady has "had an awkward task in selling the European Tour brand." The Final Series, similar to the U.S. circuit's end-of-season FedExCup extravaganza, is "a sequence of four events" worth more than $30M in total, and starts on Thursday with the BMW Masters in China. Olazabal believes that the tour "is experiencing a financial trough mainly due to the economic downturn in Europe." Olazabal: "The whole of Europe is going through a tough time and I'm pretty sure when we see signs of economic recovery the tour will go back to its origins and will get stronger again. That's the reason the tour is having a tough time getting sponsors" (REUTERS, 10/22).
This year's World Rally Championship's Rally Catalonia, which will take place from Thursday through Sunday in the Spanish state of Catalonia, "will add as its new feature three night stages that will leave from Barcelona." At the presentation of the event on Tuesday, organizers indicated that "with the addition of the new feature, the event will win on emotion." The race will "consist of 15 different sections and cover 1,389 km" (EFE, 10/22). ... Seville, Spain's Blas Infante Tennis Center has joined five other venues confirmed to host Fed Cup World Group and World Group II first round matches Feb. 8-9. The Seville venue made its Int'l Tennis Federation debut in '03, when it hosted a Davis Cup contest between Spain and Belgium (Fed Cup). ... In its 33rd year, the Beijing Marathon has drawn 30,000 participants, with all registering in only 13 hours after bookings opened on Sept. 8, setting a "speed record for registration." The full marathon (42.195 km) had 15,000 people register this year. Another 7,000 "signed up for the half-course and 8,000 took part in a mini-marathon (4.2 km)" (CHINA DAILY, 10/21). ... Sports fans "who missed out on the first round of ticket allocations for the Commonwealth Games" on Monday faced "long waits in order to secure briefs for the sporting spectacle." Spectators "endured online queues of up to an hour in some cases" as the organizers of Glasgow 2014 released "thousands of tickets" (SCOTSMAN, 10/22).