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Shanghai ready for Formula One debut 20 Sep 2004

The start/finish straight with the two large 140-meter wide wings that span over the track. Impressions Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai, China. 20 July 2004.

With the inaugural Chinese Grand Prix less than a week away, preparations for the country’s first Formula One race are approaching their climax in Shanghai.

The cars have arrived and ticket sales are approaching capacity, with over 90 percent sold. Not surprisingly, the race has attracted worldwide interest - according to current figures, 30 percent of spectators for the Grand Prix will come from Shanghai, 55 percent from other parts of China and 15 percent from the rest of the world.

The Grand Prix is creating a real buzz in and around Shanghai and as the date draws near, several events have been taking place in the race build-up. These have included a concert, broadcast live on television from the circuit, with a host of VIP guests and media in attendance, together with 20,000 spectators, and the unveiling of a spectacular, 15-metre long mural by Japanese artist Ted Tanabe, depicting racing cars in action.

The support race programme for the Grand Prix has also been finalised, with the line-up featuring rounds of the Asian Formula Renault Challenge, the Formula BMW Asia Series and the Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia, together with a one-off Volkswagen Polo Celebrity Race, featuring an impressive entry of ex-Formula One drivers who today work as commentators including Germany’s Christian Danner, Switzerland’s Marc Surer, France’s Jacques Laffite and Great Britain’s Martin Brundle.