JULY 17, 2000
Grands Prix in Bali, Greece and Croatia
THE next generation of Formula 1 racing circuits are already in the planning stages and we hear that there are three new projects under consideration at the moment. The one which is most likely to happen is on the island of Bali, in Indonesia. Our sources say that the local government, keen to boost tourist revenues, has agreed to the financing of the circuit and that a parcel of land has already been set aside for the facility. The exact location is unclear but it is likely to be on the northern side of the island, not far from Denpasar airport, a major international facility with flights to destinations all over the world.
Tourism in Bali was allowed to run riot in the early days but in recent years the locals have begun to introduce careful zoning to avoid the destruction of the local culture by indiscriminate development. Indonesia previously built a Formula 1 standard circuit at Sentul, to the south of Jakarta. The track, which was closely associated with the Suharto Family, was opened in 1993 and was included on provisional World Championship calendars in 1995 and 1996. The race never took place and General Raden Suharto's regime collapsed after serious civil disorder in 1998. At the recent Monaco Grand Prix there were a number of high-ranking members of the Indonesian government present, including the Minister of Sport and the husband of the Vice-President Megawati Sukarnoputri. There are already well-advanced plans for Formula 3000 driver Ananda Mikola to graduate into F1.
Details about the F1 projects in Greece and Croatia are less hear but we hear that a site near Athens is being considered. Bernie Ecclestone visited Croatia last week and there were a number of Croatian businessmen present at the Austrian GP. There has been talk of a Croatian track since 1997 when the country was keen to attract tourists to boost the war-shattered economy.
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