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Doubts over Korean GP future following big losses

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Recently Korean Grand Prix organizers announced that the third year running has finished with $35 million losses.

Reuters reported that The South Korean race, first run in 2010, returned operating losses of 39.4 billion won ($36.4 million), local media reported on Wednesday quoting race organizers

One of nine Asian races on the 20-stop 2012 Formula One calendar, including the Asia-Pacific Australian Grand Prix, the South Korean event also lost an estimated $50 million in its first year.

“It’s hard to say what kind of impact the loss has on next year,” South Korean race organisers told Reuters.

“Although there are many concerns regarding the operating loss, the loss for a third straight year is only a short-term effect.

“In the long-term the F1 event will bring more benefits to the country. It will not only pave the way for South Korean car industries in the future but also help foster new industries.”

The problems facing South Korea’s race contrast sharply to the success Formula One enjoys in nearby Japan, where sell-out 120,000 crowds are commonplace at Suzuka.

“Compared to the boom years, things have become a little harder but we had 103,000 for race day this year,” press manager Yoshihisa Ueno told Reuters.

“Last year with the (tsunami and nuclear) disaster, numbers were down but this year, operation-wise was a successful year.”

Source: Reuters


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