JULY 13, 1998
Calcutta chosen for Indian GP track
THE promoters of the planned Indian Grand Prix have confirmed that they are planning to build a track in Calcutta in the east of the country. India's second biggest city has apparently offered two sites for a race track both within 30 minutes of downtown. The construction of the track is expected to be funded by the West Bengal state government, by the Indian government itself, by some private enterprise and by British American Tobacco, which is keen to get Grand Prix racing operating in India. The intention is for there to be a race in the year 2000 but the deadline is very short if a track has to be built. Work will need to begin in November after the monsoon is finished.
The timing of any Indian race would have to be the autumn - probably in October - as the monsoon makes racing impossible between June and September when around 60 inches of rain fall every year in the Calcutta region and there is intense humidity.
Many of the companies involved in F1 are very keen to break into India as it is the world's second most populated country behind China - another target for Grand Prix racing in the years ahead.