What is happening with the Bira Circuit?

Friday, 07 December 2012 From Issue Vol. XX No. 49 By  Dr. Iain Corness

Panic and consternation in the local racing fraternity with the rumor that the Bira Circuit is closing down.  Well, it’s not a rumor, it is a fact, but it isn’t going to happen tomorrow, and the future of Thai motor sport is actually very rosy.

Confirmation of the future closure was given in the Bangkok Post, with an item quoting Dr. Prachin Eamlumnow, one of the owners of Bira and boss of Grand Prix International, that negotiations are underway on the sale of the circuit.  Note that it is still in the ‘negotiations’ phase, which can go on for years.

B-Quik Porsche at Bira. B-Quik Porsche at Bira.

I spoke with Anothai Eamlumnow, Dr. Prachin’s son and promoter of the Pro Series races at Bira a couple of weeks ago, and he confirmed that the circuit is for sale, but nothing is happening in the immediate future time frame, and the circuit will be available as usual in 2013.

There are rumors of two new circuits to be built, with one to FIA standards for the World Touring Car Series, but no confirmation as yet, and rumors are what fuels motor racing!  However, by 2014 I expect there will be an alternative circuit to Bira, in addition to the circuit at Kaeng Krachan (near Cha Am), the one at Korat (the Bonanza circuit) and a temporary track at Muang Tong Thani (used last month for the Honda night races).  There is also the round the houses event at Bang Saen, which is being promoted by Sonthaya Kunplome, which could become two events a year, instead of the single event.

So it is with almost 100 percent surety that Bira will be used in 2013, but 2014 is not confirmed.  There will be more circuits, and motor sport will continue to flourish in Thailand.  Never fear!

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