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Rediff.com  » Sports » Mallya to keep trying for F1 race

Mallya to keep trying for F1 race

June 15, 2007 18:56 IST

Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India chairman Dr Vijay Mallya on Friday welcomed the news of India being offered the chance to host a Formula One Grand Prix in 2009, but said he would still continue his efforts to bring the mega event to the country.

"Any such effort to host a race in India is welcome, but our efforts will continue parallel," Mallya told rediff.com.

The United Breweries group chief,  who sponsors the Toyota F1 team with his flagship brand Kingfisher, had in January announced his intentions towards hosting a Monaco-style street F1 event in 2009, saying the first event could be an exhibition event.

"Any race that has to be run in India has to be run under the banner of the recognised affiliate," he added.

Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi on Thursday announced that India has been made a conditional offer to stage a Formula One Grand Pix in 2009.

FMSCI vice-president Shrikant Karani also expressed hope that the event gets the support of all political parties in the country.

"We must just hope that it doesn't turn out be a political failure. Look what happened in Hyderabad when the government changed. They dumped the plan of hosting an F1 race," Karani said.

He was referring to plans to hold a race in Hyderabad a few years back, which fizzled out after the local government that backed the move was voted out of power.

Karani said while it's a good that India host a race, efforts must also be made to ensure that adequate facilities are developed to encourage the sport in India.

"Where are the tracks in India, other than Coimbatore and Chennai? Where are the lands allotted by the government for building new tracks to encourage up-and-coming youngsters?" he asked.

"It will be good if it works, but it has to be done through proper means," he added.

Meanwhile, Kalmadi is confident the IOA will meet all requirements, although it is already running behind schedule with work related to staging the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

Harish Kotian