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Thai F1 dream hits a snag

NEWS STORY
07/06/2013

Hopes of a Grand Prix on the streets of Bangkok took a serious knock when new legislation banned racing in the city's historic quarter.

Only in April, officials in Thailand approved the route of a circuit on which it was proposed to host a Formula One race in 2015. The 3.725 miles (5.995 km) track, which would run through the streets of Bangkok was approved by Kanokphand Chulakasem, the governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand.

The proposed circuit passed a number of civic monuments including the Grand Palace, Temple of Dawn and Victory Monument, while the pits and paddock complex were to be built alongside the Chao Phraya River.

However, with the final approval needing to come from the government, hopes were dashed when a new law was passed banning racing in Bangkok's historic quarter.

"The law came into effect on 16 May prohibiting car racing in inner Bangkok because that area is a conservation for culture and arts," director general Kriangphon Pattanarat told France's AFP.

"I was told yesterday about the new city planning law," added Somsak Phurisisak, of the Department for Sport and Tourism, according to the Bangkok Post. "Whatever is illegal we will not do, so we may have to cancel the proposed grand prix."

Thailand was first linked with a Grand Prix in 2011 and gained further momentum last year when it hosted the Race of Champions.

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