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Las Vegas edging closer to F1 race

Steven Puetzer/Creative RF/Getty Images

A Formula One grand prix in Las Vegas appears to be one step closer after race organisers revealed new investors have shown interest in the plan.

Formula One CEO Bernie Ecclestone has long desired a race on the streets of Las Vegas, but a month ago said organisers were struggling to turn their plans into reality. However, a BBC report last week quoted the boss of organising group P2M Motorsports, Farid Shidfar, saying a Chinese conglomerate has agreed to commit serious investment to the project.

"They are very close to Las Vegas and have got businesses in media, sport, technology and entertainment, so they are a massive conglomerate," Shidfar said. "They came to us out of the blue late last year, because of the initiatives they are involved with in the state of Nevada, and we have been in due diligence since then.

"The benefits they will derive are very strategic so that's why they are very excited about it."

The BBC report claimed the track would take in some of Las Vegas' most famous landmarks and could be ready as soon as next year.

"We have successfully designed a racetrack which is partly on the Las Vegas Strip and does not impact any resort," Peter Wahl, managing partner of F1's track designers Tilke, told the BBC. "The track definitely has its own character and shall provide drivers high-speed challenges with different sharp corners.

"Best part, the track is designed to host large numbers of spectators, and I can't wait to see the first car fire up. I believe the Vegas race will become one of the highlights of the F1 calendar."

An attempt to bring a race to the streets of New Jersey in 2013 and 2014 failed due to a lack of funds, but Ecclestone has often said he would welcome more races in the U.S.A. If the race in Las Vegas comes to fruition it would likely join the calendar alongside the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin.