Dubai launches a circuit with F1 potential

Independent of the presentation of the new A1 Grand Prix series and apparently unrelated, the new Dubai Autodrome and Business Park was launched on Monday with a major event at the new circuit, which is nearing completion not far from the city of Dubai. The project, which has the backing of Dubai's Crown Prince His Highness General Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, has been designed by engineers at West Surrey Racing and is 3.3-miles long with two straights, each one kilometre long. There are six different track permutations and the potential to expand the facilities to meet all the needs of Formula 1 if Dubai decides to bid for a race in the future.

"The aim of the Autodrome is to provide the highest standard of facilities and wholly contribute to educating the Middle East in all aspects of motor and motor sports industry," says Anis Al Jallaf, the chairman of Union Properties, which has financed the programme.

There are plans for a racing academy, which is being established by Australian racing legend Peter Brock, and for a local low-budget racing series called Futureracers, which will feature a simple and easy to maintain racing machinery built nearby.

There are plans for a 24 Hour touring car event at the track in January 2005.

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