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Likelihood of Turkish Grand Prix increasing 01 Apr 2003

It looks increasingly likely that Turkey will join Bahrain and China on the Formula One calendar by 2005.

The Turkish government is working with TOMSFED, the Turkish national sporting authority, to create a brand new motorsporting facility close to the capital, Istanbul. It will be located adjacent to the Pendik-Kurtkoy Airport, on the city's eastern side, but will also be within easy reach of its hotels and restaurants.

Formula One circuit architect Hermann Tilke has already visited the potential site and has been working on a new circuit design for several months. He is expected to reveal it shortly. Bernie Ecclestone has also made several trips to Turkey for discussions about the race.

The funding for the venture is coming from the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, which expects construction work to begin in April next year and to be finished by September, in time for inaugural races to be held ahead of a Grand Prix date which will probably be towards the end of 2005.

Turkish interest in motorsport has been increasing in recent years, and the country can now boast its own international driver in 17 year-old Jason Tahinci, whose father runs TOMSFED. Tahinci is currently living in the UK in Frampton Cotterell while racing in the 2003 Formula Renault UK Championship with Mark Burdett Motorsport.