SEPTEMBER 23, 2008
Mateschitz to rebuild Zeltweg
Work is underway at the old Osterreichring near Zeltweg to create a new Formula 1-standard testing facility, which will be funded by Red Bull's Dietrich Mateschitz to the tune of $100m.
The work will include new pits and grandstands, in addition to restoration of the modern F1 track, the conversion of sections of the old 1970s track into a road car testing facility and the development of several offtrack circuits in the surrounding hills. The project also includes the upgrading of a guesthouse that overlooks the circuit.
The project should be completed in 2010.
The circuit last hosted a Grand Prix in 2003 after which the installations were demolished in expectation of a vast new project for a Red Bull racing and aviation centre. This was blocked by environmentalists and Mateschitz walked away, leaving the circuit derelict. In 2005 Red Bull, Magna, VW and KTM announced a new project but that failed to materialise and Mateschitz eventually reached an agreement with the troublesome local government to do his own thing with what will be called the New Spielberg circuit. It is not expected that there will be any attempt to get a Grand Prix back in Austria, given the lack of support in the region, but with Mateschitz, you never know.
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