Autumn harvest kills Korean Grand Prix?

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Color me reactionary but it seems the only reason, and I stress the word “only”, the FIA inspection was called off on September 23, 2010 was due to a three-day Autumn harvest holiday. Hell if I’m Mr. Ecclestone, I’d think about backing the holiday celebrations instead of a F1 race there because clearly that’s where the hearts, minds and wallets of the people are! I mean, who needs the hassle and inconvenience of a F1 circuit construction when there is a Harvest Holiday to attend?

Yes, I understand that it’s a very important holiday and that they are an agrarian society but lest anyone forget, the US has a few farms too and we take that harvest thing pretty darned seriously, as we should, but that hasn’t stopped Tavo Helmund from ticking off the Travis County Commissioners office or the city of Austin with his desire to break ground in December for the purpose-built track has it? And that race isn’t until 2012!

Some rumors have seeped out into the F1 community about the lack of the final layer of asphalt being laid and that it takes three weeks to cure or it’s “epic fail” time during an actual grand prix. Now I haven’t been there to see that for myself but I suspect the asphalt layers union local # 23 had a booth set up for three days at the Harvest holiday taking donations for Mr. Kim Park Lang’s new prosthetic leg as the black beast known as asphalt took his left one last January.

I may seem insensitive to Mr. Lang’s left leg but maybe the fact that a grand prix is under a month away and the harvest holiday has probably been going on in some shape or form since the earth’s crust cooled would add a sense of immediacy to the situation. Seems a logical question at this point, “hey…Kim…think we should give the harvest festival a miss this year? I mean that Bernie guy and his loud machines will be here any day now right?”. like I said…color me reactionary but I’d hate to see the grand prix killed because they were attending a harvest holiday.

Yes! I get it…it’s their biggest holiday and it is ingrained in their culture but no one was begging Korea to host a grand prix and they committed to the date and when you aren’t on schedule, you work overtime and holidays to get it done. That’s the way things are done over here and I won’t make apologies for it.

Here is what the organizers said:

“We will have no problem in hosting the race on Oct 24 as we have almost completed work,” said Kavo spokesman Kim Jae-Ho.

Kavo claimed the inspection by the FIA was delayed only because of South Korea’s three-day autumn harvest holiday last week.

“We will rush to complete work and FIA officials will see a complete circuit when they conduct a final inspection in two weeks,” Kim said.

“We take Ecclestone’s remarks seriously as a message that we have to step up preparations for the race.”

The FIA inspection date is set for next month and yes, they should take Mr. Ecclestone’s remarks seriously. I hope that the National Foundation day, Armed Forces day or that wacky celebration of their alphabet (Hangul day) doesn’t get in the way or anything. Okay…enough for now, I’m off to the Oktober fest party.

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