AUGUST 5, 2005
Romanians talk of Formula 1
For most of this year there have been stories coming out of Romania about plans to create a racing circuit in the downtown area of Bucharest, around the famous Parliament Palace, built by the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu before he overthrown in 1989. This is second largest administrative building in the world, after the Pentagon, and was designed to house the entire government bureaucracy, although it has since been converted into the national parliament, a conference centre and an art museum.
The plan is for motor racing to be used to bring tourists to Romania. The man behind the project is Bucharest mayor and deputy-prime minister in charge of the economy Adriean Videanu and money is being raised for the plan through a company called BS Sport Development, which involves multimillionaire Adrian Serbu who made a fortune in the 1990s with his Pro-TV, in partnership with former tennis player Ion Tiriac, a friend of Bernie Ecclestone. Also involved is his son Nic Serbu, who now runs a music TV station called Atomic TV. The Romanians have done a deal with a German construction company called Beyer Industrial Consulting to turn the Izvor Park, which surrounds the parliament into a race track which would be 1.9 miles in length and would be able to house 94,000 people. The track will be called Road City and the initial plan is for a touring car event although there is little doubt that ultimately Bucharest would like to hold a Grand Prix.
Construction work is due to start in the autumn.
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