Bulgarian officials are set to meet with Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone at next week’s German Grand Prix, as the country steps up its pursuit of bringing a race to the Balkan region.
The meeting is set to be held at the Nurburgring from July 10 to 12, where it is expected the contents of an agreement for a future Bulgarian race will be discussed.
Bulgaria is hoping to stage its first F1 race in 2011, with a contract running through to 2015 including the option of an extension until 2020.
The Bulgarian Motorcycling Federation (BMF) announced in December it would put forward a bid to the FIA to land a grand prix.
Part of the plan would see a new circuit built near Pleven in northern Bulgaria, where a round of the World Rally Championship will take place in 2010.
In March, MotoGP’s commercial rights holder, Dorna Sports, confirmed the series will arrive in Bulgaria from 2012 following a preliminary five-year agreement with the BMF, and the addition of F1 would make the country one of the leading players in international motorsport.
Grand prix organising committee chairman Rumen Petkov has admitted that the current state of the global economic climate will mean that Bulgaria’s F1 bid is unlikely to receive financial support from the government.
However, he is confident of raising funds from other sources.
“Of course there are a variety of possibilities, but in the terms of the global and financial economic crisis, my opinion is that it is hard to believe that our state would be able to take the engagement,” Petkov told Focus News.
“The key issue immediately after my return from the meeting with the president of Formula One Administration Bernie Ecclestone in Germany is to look for investors and chances for public-private partnership, because there is no doubt that the state is interested in such a prestigious and very profitable project.”