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The upcoming Race of Champions in Thailand may not go ahead due to political unrest.
The Bangkok Post reports the area the Rajamangala National Stadium is in has been occupied by protesters:
I am going this year, and I’ve been monitoring the situation in Bangkok for the last week. There were political triggers for this (which does normally occur in Thailand every 2-3 years), but suffice it to say that this is a case of very bad timing for the RoC. I am hoping things get decided politically one way or the other this weekend. Otherwise, prolonged protests will probably cause the RoC to be delayed to March (which may severely hamper the driver lineup, as most will be well into preparations for 2014 by then). Not to mention causing people like me some financial pain (with rebooking fees and whatnot).
Looks like the situation is deteriorating:
People heading to a pro-government rally were attacked by students, and later shots were fired, injuring at least three of the students.
On the one hand, the government would not want to have this kind of unrest in full public view of a sizable amount of tourists. On the other hand, postponing the event may be seen as a “win” by the protesters, as the government couldn’t keep them under control.
We’ll see what they decide tomorrow.
…There’s always Wembley…….:p
The race is off:
The Sports Authority of Thailand and the organisers of the 2013 Race Of Champions have announced that the event cannot take place as planned on December 14-15 due to the current political situation in Bangkok.
Bring it back to Gran canaria….. its warm and sunny and easy to get to. No political unrest, in the Euro community and full of lovely people.
Gutted. Just gutted. :(
Not only will the RoC not return to Bangkok now, this also kills off any remaining hope they had of an F1 race anytime soon.
Ironically, at least this means the Rajamangala National Stadium is actually going to be full of people next weekend…
@magnificent-geoffrey Well, it was already full last weekend. But I think the moment someone died just outside the Stadium during clashes Saturday night, that pretty much sealed the fate of this race.
There was never going to be an F1 race in Thailand.
The irony here is that the entire F1 circus still went the Bahrain (repeatedly) in a far more turbulent political crisis than has ever hit Thailand.
In the last coup (I have been there for several) I was still shopping at the SuperMarket the day that martial law was imposed, and driving down ChaengWattana alongside tanks with smiling soldiers in them, and flowers sticking out the end of the tanks guns….
By the 14th of December this will all be over. It will be over this week tbh.
@scratt Thing is, the 2008 and 2010 rallies went on for three months. The King’s birthday will be the key. It’ll either kill off the protests once and for all, or give it new life.
Well this has not really stopped at all since 2008. It´s just been simmering under the surface since then. This is just another flare up.
The thing is that these protests are always very localised. It´s a shame that the RoC is at that specific location.. Just down the road the Malls are all still open…
I doubt Thailand will ever change… and darker times are ahead.. Either the return of Thaksin or the death of HM will throw the country into utter turmoil.
They should just move RoC down to Bira.
That’s good. Here’s a thought. Move the RoC 2013 to Austria, I mean isn’t two Austrian participating in it. Vettel and Felix Baumgartner?
Maybe it can come to Canada and we can have a Winter RoC. Winter rally at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve? Maybe a Winter WEC rally at Mosport?
I can dream…
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