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Istanbul organisers call for government funding

NEWS STORY
06/12/2012

Organisers of the Turkish Grand Prix are calling on their government to provide funding in order that the 2013 race can go ahead.

At yesterday's meeting of the World Motor Sport Council it was announced that the date of the German Grand Prix had been moved forward in order to free up July 21 for another, unidentified, event in Europe.

With the FIA meeting in Istanbul, ahead of this week's prize-giving ceremony, and on the back of claims that the new circuit boss Vural Ak is already in talks with Bernie Ecclestone, it has been widely assumed that it will indeed be Turkey that fills the vacant slot.

In a statement on the Turkish Automobile Sports Federation (TOSFED) website, chairman Demire Berberoglu admits that while it is hoped top stage a race at the circuit government funding will be required.

"We in TOSFED are making every effort so that Formula One races, which have been held seven times in our country until now, can be held at our Istanbul Park track in 2013 and in future years," it read.

"Everybody knows that what is needed for its presence in the Formula One race calendar for 2013 and following years is a guarantee and approval of the required budget at the government level. This will develop according to the prime minister's decision."

A Pitpass source claims that the whole thing is just a little "last minute", revealing that former TOSFED chairman, Mumtaz Tahincioglu, has been in touch with Ecclestone with the intention of making the Grand Prix happen but wanting to cut out middle men who have usually 'brokered' it. Our source is confident that while Turkey will return to the calendar, 2013 looks highly unlikely.

While popular with drivers, the event has failed to put bums on seats, especially in terms of local fans.

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