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Korea: Construction work "98 to 99 percent complete"

NEWS STORY
06/10/2010

Despite persistent speculation that the inaugural Korean Grand Prix is in danger of being cancelled officials claim that all is on schedule.

In Singapore, with the clock still ticking and another deadline missed - this time due to a public holiday - even Bernie Ecclestone admitted his concern.

However, with just 16 days to go before the first practice session gets underway, officials in Korea insist that all is on schedule.

"The construction of the venue is now 98 to 99 percent complete," Kim Jae-ho, Korea Auto Valley Operation (KAVO) general manager for marketing and communication, told the Korea Times.

"Before the inspection the only thing left to do is working on the surface of the track," he added. "The inspection team may put first priority on safety and appropriateness of the racetrack ahead of other factors such as cleanliness and makeshift stands."

Asked why the most recent inspection had been cancelled, Kim said: "When Charlie Whiting came to Korea in July, we received permission to postpone the inspection. Instead we had to submit a daily report to the FIA. At the time the FIA designated September 22 as the final inspection date but we realized later that it fell on one of Korea's biggest traditional holidays, Chuseok.

"As the FIA officials would likely be stuck in traffic during the holiday, we explained the situation and FIA replied that they would consider changing the date to early October and recently notified us of the amended date.

"We tried to keep the date," he revealed. "For us, the toughest factor toward that end was weather. It rained too much. The weather was totally different from past seasons.

"Though Korea's construction companies have world-class techniques, building a circuit is unfamiliar to them," he continued. "Frankly speaking, we have little experience in building racetracks. However, despite the postponed construction, the track and venue will provide the perfect circumstances for the race. The main Grandstand has a capacity of 13,000. And the spectators will see the race from the closest seats. I've been to other circuits in the world. But objectively, the Korean GP venue offers the closest view."

The inspection team will visit Korea for a final examination after completing their inspection of the Suzuka rack on Oct. 10.

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