Kanokphand Chulakasem, governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand, says the kingdom has struck an initial deal to host a Formula One race in 2014. According to the Bangkok Post, Kanokphand and an adviser to Red Bull owner Chalerm Yoovidhya met with Bernie Ecclestone at the Singapore Grand Prix last weekend to discuss the details.
“It will be a city race like that in Singapore and Monaco. It will be a night race like the Singapore Grand Prix,” Kanokphand said.
It is also understood that the government will carry 60% of the costs associated with hosting the race but the remaining 40% will come from the private sector and this squarely place Red Bull and Singha as the most likely supporters.
A race on Ratchadamnoen Avenue is certainly intriguing but some Formula One fans are asking if the series really needs another street race at night as Singapore currently satisfies that unique element and has just renewed its contract for another five years. However, the Ratchadamnoen Avenue race idea has been around since 1939 when F1 racer and Olympic athelete Prince Bira first considered the notion but it was scuttled when WWII broke out.
Prince Bira had planned on closing roads in Sanam Luang and Ratchadamnoen to host the race but the dream never came to fruition. Perhaps 2014 will see the culmination and return of Thailand to motor sport.