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How the Finnish Grand Prix collapsed before it even existed

How the Finnish Grand Prix collapsed before it even existed

13 August - 14:29

The dream of hosting Formula 1 Grands Prix and MotoGP at Finland's KymiRing has been shattered in recent months. The owners of the newly built circuit have gone bankrupt and are now suffering the same fate as two other Scandinavian circuit owners. Where did it go wrong?

In the summer of 2020, the first MotoGP race should have been held at the KymiRing. That plan could not go ahead due to construction problems: just two months before the event the paddock, access roads and the ambulance lane had not been asphalted. For that reason Dorna decided together with the FIM and IRTA to cancel the first Finnish Grand Prix in forty years. Also the following years the event could not take place due to lack of funds.

No Finnish GP for the time being

In 2023 the race would finally debut on the MotoGP calendar. The circuit would have had to meet all the required construction measures by 20 September this year, but it didn't happen. The owners of the circuit have gone bankrupt and it looks like the event will never take place again. This also means an end to the Formula 1 dream of the KymiRing. The circuit was not yet homologated by the FIA for car racing due to an error in securing the tyre stacks, but it would have loved to host F1 races in the future.

In the meantime, it has become clear that the owners of the circuit are in considerable financial difficulties. The construction companies Maanrakennus Pekka Rautiainen ky and Macra oy have filed for bankruptcy against the KymiRing and would claim amounts of several tons, but the financial difficulties of the circuit are much bigger than that. According to the Finnish Iltalehti the total debt amounts to around €25 million, which has also caused problems for the business partner Lahti Events, which was to organise the event. The circuit owners have reportedly applied for debt restructuring to avoid bankruptcy.

The KymiRing is not the first failed project in Scandinavia. Copenhagen, for example, had the same wish, but it fell victim to the financial and organisational efforts involved. Also in Anderstorp (Sweden), funding and geographical location were the main reasons why a similar project failed.

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