AUGUST 1, 2008

Track developments in Hungary

The contract for the Hungarian GP runs until the 2011 race but the circuit president Laszlo Palik has told the local media that negotiations for a five-year extension until 2016 is close to being finalised and may be announced this weekend.

At the same time a new circuit has been announced at Lake Balaton, 100 miles to the west of Budapest. The lake is the largest in central Europe and is 50 miles in length. It is a major regional tourist destination but the local authorities are keen to promote its charms and have embarked on turning the region into an international holiday destination. A company called Balatonring Zrt has been established to run the track. This is 30% owned by the regional tourism authorities with the remaining 70% by World Circuit Management, which runs MotoGP circuits around the world. The track will be located at Savoly, close to the M7 motorway and the international airport at Sarmellek. Construction will begin in September with the first race expected to be a year later and the first MotoGP event in 2010. There is a five-year deal for the race between 2010 and 2014.