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Posted : 2012-11-21 15:06
Updated : 2012-11-21 15:06

F1 Korean Grand Prix bleeds red for third straight year

The only annual Formula One (F1) auto racing event in South Korea has bled red for the third straight year, race organizers said Wednesday.

The organizing committee for the F1 Korean Grand Prix said this year's event resulted in an operating loss of 39.4 billion won ($36.4 million).

The race has been held annually in Yeongam, South Jeolla Province, about 400 kilometers south of Seoul, since 2010.

The organizers said this year's race cost them 74.5 billion won. They made 35.1 billion won from ticket sales, government grants and other revenue sources.

After the end of this year's race in October, the organizers said this year's final drew 86,259 fans and the qualifying run attracted 56,523. Last year, they said, 64,000 came for the qualifier and 85,000 for the final.

The first race here in 2010 had a loss of 72.5 billion won, while the 2011 edition led to an operating loss of 61 billion won.

Another year of heavy financial loss prompted provincial council members to demand measures to cut deficits.

"Just because the amount of loss was cut from 70 billion won to 40 billion won, I am not sure we can call this year's race a success," said Seo Dong-wook, a member of the South Jeolla council. "We will need to take some fundamental steps to change it."

An official of the organizing team blamed the global economic downturn for the lack of corporate sponsorships and advertising revenue.
The Korean Grand Prix is under a seven-year deal with F1, plus a five-year option.

F1, the world's most prestigious open-wheel racing circuit, attracts millions of fans and television viewers worldwide. (Yonhap)


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