Zhuhai agreement signed for 2004 event

Zhuhai round agreement signed in Beijing. Dato Lim Hock San and Mr. Stephane Ratel sign the contract. The agreement for the eleventh round of the 2004 season of the FIA GT Championship was signed in Beijing, China, on January 13th. The 500 km,...

Zhuhai round agreement signed in Beijing.

Dato Lim Hock San and Mr. Stephane Ratel sign the contract. The agreement for the eleventh round of the 2004 season of the FIA GT Championship was signed in Beijing, China, on January 13th.

The 500 km, three hour race will take place at the Zhuhai International Circuit, on November 12th 2004. This will be the first time that the Championship has raced in China since the last round of the 1999 season. On that occasion, the race was won by Olivier Beretta and Karl Wendlinger in a Chrysler Viper Team Oreca car.

FIA GT Promoter Stephane Ratel was in China for the signing ceremony : "I am very impressed by the way that China has evolved since I was last there in 1999," he said. "I was involved in organising the first-ever international motorsports event in the People's Repuplic of China, back in 1994, so I feel I have played a pioneering role. There is great enthusiasm for motorsport in this country, GT racing in particular. The Formula One Grand Prix of China, which will take place in Shanghai, is generating huge interest, which is creating a boom for all motorsports in the country."

"With the signing of this agreement, we have confirmed the final race of the 2004 season of the FIA GT Championship. However, our objective for 2005 is to bring the whole LG Super Racing Weekend series to China, with two races within two weeks, first in Zhuhai and then in Shanghai. We are also working towards running a Chinese driver in all the rounds of the 2004 season, which would further increase interest in the Championship throughout the year."

Mr. Stephane Ratel the chairmanof SRO shaking hands with Dato Lim Hock San the president of ZIC Ratel also took with him a message of goodwill from the President of the FIA, Max Mosley, who said: "I am very pleased at the signing of this agreement. Not only does it mark the return of the FIA GT Championship to China after an interval of over four years, but, taking place two months after the inaugural Formula One Grand Prix of China, it emphasises the definitive entry of China onto the international motorsport arena. I am confident that this race in Zhuhai will prove to be one of the highlights of the 2004 season of the FIA GT Championship. I am sure that everyone -- the drivers, the public and the organisers -- will have a wonderful weekend."

As well as Ratel, Shi Tian Shu, the chairman of FASC ; Joe Lim, the general manager of ZIC ; Guo Guo Qing, the secretary general of the Zhuhai Goverment ,the Minister of the H.R. Department of Malaysia and Victor Koo, COO of Sohu, gave speeches during the ceremony. Zhuhai circuit director, Mr Joe Lim said : "We are all excited that FIA-GT is coming back to Zhuhai after a 4-year absence. We want to show everyone the new image of ZIC and the new attention that motorsport gets in China."

The Zhuhai International Circuit was finished in 1996, just before hosting China's first international race on a Formula-One standard circuit. The circuit is 4.3 km long, with four left turns, ten right turn and two straights of 900m and 500m each. Grandstands provide covered seating for 26000 spectators, with an additional 60000 seats for general admission. The modern circuit has excellent media facilities, and, for the teams, 40 pit garages.

The circuit is located in Tangjiawan town in the northern region of Zhuhai City. It is centrally located, and is no more than 2 hours drive from the key cities of the Pearl River Delta. Macau is 30 minutes away, it is an hour's drive from Zhuhai International Airport or an hour by ferry from Hong Kong. The sub-tropical climate means that motorsport can be held throughout the year.

-fia-gt-

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Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Karl Wendlinger , Stéphane Ratel , Olivier Beretta