Indian F1 promoters hope to break even in three years

New Delhi: The promoters of the inaugural Indian Formula One (F1) race facility on Tuesday said that they are confident of breaking even in two-three years.

"The break-even on such a big investment would be reached within two-to-three years time. We are very confident in the business," Sameer Gaur, managing director, Jaypee Sports International Ltd. (JPSI) which has developed the Buddh International Circuit told IANS on the sidelines of the unveiling ceremony of the track ahead of the inaugural Indian Grand Prix Oct 30.

According to Gaur, the facility which has come up with an investment of $200 million and another $200 million for F1 licences will not only host F1 races but a slew of other events including races, corporate events and would house establishments like a racing academy.

"Well we have many options in which we can use the facility after F1 race. There will be other motor sports races like Moto-GP, motorbiking, it can be given for training purposes, corporate events, so there are many options for revenue generation," Gaur said.

Gaur said the company has finalised partnerships like merchandising and sponsorship for other races.

"We have roped in Puma as our merchandising partner," Gaur said.

The company had earlier tied up with luxury car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz, which has been appointed as the official automobile partner of the Buddh International Circuit.

Mercedes-Benz will also setup a race car academy which would be the fourth such facility by the German luxury automobile manufacturer after the ones in the US, Germany and China.

"After the inaugural race at the circuit, we intend to open the track for public on Saturdays and Sundays," Gaur said adding: "Aspiring racing car drivers and motor sport enthusiasts can come over here to practise."

Other auto-giants such as Mahindra and Mahindra too have plans to use the track for sports activities.

Gaur added that the funding in the project is through equity infusion of Rs.550 crore and a debt element of Rs.200 crore.

The company has signed a five-year race lease contract with the international motor sports body Federation Internationale de l`Automobile (FIA) for bring the F1 race to India. The lease can also be extended for another five years.

The 5.14-km circuit has been designed by German architect and racetrack expert Hermann Tilke, who was also associated with similar projects in Malaysia, Bahrain, Indonesia, China, Turkey, the UAE, South Africa, South Korea and the US.

The circuit is part of Jaypee Sports City, spread over 2,500 acres, which will include a cricket stadium, a hockey arena, a sports training academy and similar infrastructure for other sports.

The inaugural race during Oct 28-30 event will see American pop icon Lady Gaga perform for the grand party during her maiden visit to India.

Following are key features of the new race track:

• Cost of project: Rs.1,700 crore (around $400 million)
• Length: 5.14 km
• Seating capacity: 120,000
• Parking capacity: 15,000 cars
• Distance from Delhi: Around 40 km


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