Duke of York visits Shanghai

His Royal Highness the Duke of York has visited the Shanghai International Circuit where the inaugural Chinese Grand Prix will take place on September 26, 2004. HRH the Duke of York took great interest in the huge construction and engineering...

His Royal Highness the Duke of York has visited the Shanghai International Circuit where the inaugural Chinese Grand Prix will take place on September 26, 2004.

HRH the Duke of York took great interest in the huge construction and engineering feat of building the largest dedicated Formula One Grand Prix circuit in the world. The track is located about 60 kilometres to the west of the city and a 90-minute drive from the Pudong International Airport. An estimated 200,000 fans will witness the most technologically advanced cars race each other on a circuit that has been designed to encourage overtaking and exciting racing.

"I am delighted to be here today to see final stages of the building of the Shanghai International Circuit," said HRH the Duke of York. "Today Britain is truly the global leader in automotive innovation, as around three quarters of the world's single-seater racing cars are designed and built in the United Kingdom, and six out of the ten Formula One teams are based in the UK. Thus Britain is in a strong position to help Shanghai ensure that its first Grand Prix is an outstanding success and we look forward to the ongoing growth of these sporting and commercial relationships.

"And," concluded HRH the Duke of York, "I wish the Shanghai International Circuit the greatest success in its endeavours this year and in many years to come."

The local landscape is dominated by a huge structure which straddles the main straight of the circuit. A football stadium-style grandstand on one side and pit buildings on the other are connected - at each end - by huge wing-shaped bridges which contain the media centre and a restaurant. Prince Andrew was clearly impressed by the scale of the buildings: Congratulations on what you have achieved here."

Replying to HRH the Duke of York, Mr Mao the President of Shanghai International Circuit said that the Circuit was honoured to host the visit of a royal representative from the United Kingdom such as HRH the Duke of York.

"I hope he has enjoyed his visit and though of course the circuit is not yet completed, my wish is that he will have seen what a fantastic facility we are building in Shanghai. Thus we warmly welcome our honoured guest and hope to see him among our guests on September 26 when the Chinese Grand Prix will take place."

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Series Formula 1