Lucrative new income source for circuit

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 June, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 June, 2005, 12:00am

Staging a round of the V8 Supercar Championship has opened a new chapter for the Shanghai International Circuit (SIC), said Mao Xiaohan, general manager of the circuit.

Shanghai Greenland, a city-based agency, sealed a US$3 million deal with the Supercar series owners to stage the event in Shanghai for five years starting from 2005.

'We were spared much of the organisation work this time,' said Mao, whose SIC forked out tens of millions of US dollars in application fees for the F1 and the MotoGP hosting rights and bore the brunt of costs in staging both events. 'We just leased out the facility this time. This kind of project will be one of the major income sources for the circuit in the future.'

While Mao declined to reveal the details of the circuit's gains, sources within the SIC said the rent for the three-day use of the circuit was in the region of US$800,000.

'The weekend was a success considering that the Supercar just debuted in China and is still an unfamiliar face to many local fans,' said Zhang Xinguo, vice-president of Greenland.

An estimated 50,000 spectators turned out over the weekend.