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Beijing A1 Grand Prix dropped

March 23, 2007 Reuters

The Beijing round of the A1 Grand Prix series, one of two in China, will be dropped for next season because the promoters cannot afford to cover the "huge" losses, the Shanghai Daily reported on Friday.
The Chinese capital made its debut in the second season of the "World Cup of Motorsport" last November but the cost of putting on the race as well as the Shanghai round has proved too great for the promoters, Haiyi.
"We have worked our socks off to get everything right for both rounds over the past few months," said Guan Yunke, Haiyi's deputy general manager.
"But the financial burden to stage two races in a year is overwhelming with huge losses. Therefore we decided to drop the Beijing leg next season."
Guan said preparing the street circuit for the Beijing race had cost about 20 million yuan (about $2.6 million) and attempts to offset these and other expenses through sponsorship from local businesses had proved disappointing.
"Despite its growing popularity, A1 remains a hard-sell to sponsors," Guan said.
The 2006-07 season Shanghai race will take place on the state of the art International Circuit, also home to the Formula One Grand Prix, on the weekend of April 12-15.
 

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I went to several sponsor/organization meetings before and after the Beijing A1 race in last year. In my opinion promoters lost money because 1) political in fighting between Shanghai govt and Beijing govt 2) not enough experience/knowledge to build a street track 3) not enough time to build a street track (due to inadequate organizing of Beijing race). 5) too small A1 fan base (due in part to too limited advertising). Basically it comes down to Beijing trying to do too much too quickly. Even on the day of the first scheduled practice the stands where the fans sit to watch the race were not finished. I hope A1 will come back to Beijing and I will do everything I can to make it happen.
 
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