Beyond the speed limit

India's first F1 track was unveiled in Greater Noida on Tuesday

The excitement was palpable and expectations were high. And the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, which was unveiled on Tuesday, seems to have put doubting Thomases to rest. The track, which will host the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, was described as "one of the best in the world" by the country's first F1 driver Narain Karthikeyan.

The Red Bull Formula 1 Racing Car at Buddh International Circuit on

Media crews touring the track. Pics/Rajeev Tyagi

The 5.14-km track is getting final touches. Organisers are confident everything will be spic and span in a week. The track was formally opened in the presence of Manoj Gaur, chairman of Jaypee Sports International (JPSI), Vicky Chandhok, president of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) and Karthikeyan.

High praise
"I have raced on all the major F1 tracks across the globe and I rate this track as one of the best in the world," said Karthikeyan. "It's the greatest sporting infrastructure created by a private company and it also conforms to the latest set of FIA guidelines," said Gaur. Spread over 875 acres, the fastest lap time on the track is expected to be under 1 minute 27 seconds with average speeds crossing 210 kmph. There will be a total of sixty laps in the race. The event will be held from October 28-30.

Jaypee group has built the track and is managing the race. About $400 million have been spent on the project. So far they have not made any concrete plans for future activity on this track but they have tied up with Mercedes which will open their performance academy here.

'fast' talk: Manoj Gaur, Chairman and Sameer Gaur, MD of Jaypee
Sports International, addressing a press conference in Greater Noida.
Pic/Rajeev Tyagi

To unveil the first racing circuit of India a car show was organised, during which Neel Jani, the Swiss racer of Indian origin, burnt rubber in a Red Bull Racing car. The organisers also claim that they haves sold out 70 per cent of the total tickets available. In order to give Formula One enthusiasts a chance to witness the race, the company has slashed ticket prices by up to Rs 20,000 for those who book it on the coming Sunday.

Grab a chair!
"We have already sold out about 70 per cent of the total tickets available and 90 per cent of the corporate boxes," said Sameer Gaur, MD, JPSI. He said with a lot of demand coming for the race tickets, the company has decided to slash the ticket prices for one day on October 23 on Those who book a ticket for grand stand on that day will get it for Rs 15,000 per ticket as against the normal price of Rs 35,000. Similarly, a classic stand ticket can be booked for just Rs 4,000 against the normal price of Rs 6,500, while that of picnic stand would be available for Rs 3,000 as compared to the usual price of Rs 6,000 per ticket.

There are about 55 corporate boxes and each box has 30 seats. JPSI had earlier stated it expects to garner about Rs 150 crore from ticket sales of the race. Organisers claim they have taken all security measures. Even after threat by local farmers to disrupt the race in a row over the way their land was acquired, Jaypee group assures everything is under control and there would be no problems.

$400 MN
Approx. have been invested in the entire project

A different  track
To make the event larger that life heavy metal band Metallica and singer Lady Gaga will perform at the opening ceremony.  On Tuesday the theme song of the event, sung by leading Bollywood and Indipop singers Leslie Lewis, Daler Mehandi, KK and Lucky Ali, was released. The racy track Hum mein raftar jeete bar bar is in sync with the nature of the event.

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