MARCH 12, 2005

Mexicans asking for more time

The organizers of the proposed Mexican Grand Prix say that they can complete construction of the planned Mantarraya racing circuit, near Cancun, on schedule for a race in November 2006 despite the fact that the work is already two months behind schedule and yet to start. The Mexicans announced a deal to run the race last autumn but the project soon ran into trouble with the local authorities, who insisted that construction could not begin until all the necessary planning issues had been sorted out. The response of the promoters was to move the venue to a new area, where there are fewer problems. This is two miles from the original site and will be an even bigger venue than planned with 2000 acres now included in the project. The project is being coordinated by the state government of Quintana Roo with funding from the private sector. The aim of the programme is to increase hotel occupancy rates in the area.