A former military airbase could be transformed into Bulgaria's first F1-ready motorsport facility, if the plans of an unnamed member of the Abu Dhabi royal family come to fruition.
According to Bulgaria's Standart
newspaper, an 'economic co-operation agreement' has been signed by national economy minister Traicho Traikov and Mohammed Abdul Jalil al Blouki, a senior representative of Abu Dhabi's state-owned Emirates Associated Business Group (EABG), to transform the former Dobroslavtsi airport into a facility worthy of attracting motorsport's biggest draw.
The report claims that Bulgaria will contribute 320 hectares of land - worth approximately E180m - to the project, which will be funded entirely by money from Abu Dhabi, the latest addition to the F1 calendar until Korea makes its bow in October this year.
Bulgaria has made no secret of its desire to join former Eastern Bloc comrades Hungary and, potentially, Russia on the F1 schedule, but initial plans to build a compatible circuit, revealed in mid-2009, appeared to have bitten the dust when the true cost of construction became apparent and those behind the scheme were found wanting.
Russia is among the countries being touted as possible additions to the F1 calendar but, like Bulgaria, has yet to construct a suitable venue. Korea joins the schedule this year, with India tabbed for 2011 and a return to the USA pencilled in for 2012.