25 April 2015
Finland’s Kymi Ring to bid for MotoGP, shun F1
The newly-built Kymi Ring will bid for a round of the MotoGP World Championship, but has no designs on attracting 'too expensive' F1.
Finland could be added to the MotoGP World Championship schedule as early 2017 as construction of a new state-of-the-art venue continues.
The Kymi Ring, located in the region of Kouvola and 150km from the capital city Helsinki, is being built with a view of returning Finland to international circuit competition, albeit with a focus on securing a round of MotoGP and not in F1.
Finland has never had a venue capable of hosting an F1 event, despite a rich heritage that has yielded three world champions. As it stands, Finland is one of only two nations not to have produced an F1 world champion without holding an F1 race.
However, though circuit officials say they have built the Kymi Ring with the capability of hosting an F1 race, the steep hosting fees mean it is instead more interested in attracting MotoGP. As such, though the Kymi Ring holds a Grade A licence with the FIM, it is only Grade 2 with the FIA for four-wheel events.
"The track will certainly be approved for Formula 1, but a grand prix has never been in the plans," Kari O. Sohlberg, Finland's national governing body for motorsport, told Omnicourse.it
"An F1 race is not a realistic goal, because the amount of money required every year is so great that it would not be possible to pay for the rights. This kind of money cannot be found today in Finland. Instead, MotoGP and Superbikes, and series such as GP2, GP3 and DTM fit perfectly with our plans."
Interest in motorcycle racing has grown in recent years with the profile of Moto2 front runner and former MotoGP rider Mika Kallio, as well as the success of the Finnish-based Ajo team.
Finland has previously been featured on the motorcycle grand prix calendar, with an event in Tampere in 1962 and 1963, before moving to Imatra until 1982.
However, the Kymi Ring isn't the only venue bidding for a spot on a calendar that is expected to grow to 20 rounds in 2017, with Austria almost certain to join from next season, while Thailand and Chile are expected to be included in the near future.
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