Thailand to host Race of Champions and eyes F1

Bangkok will host this year's Race of Champions, an annual event in December featuring winners from various motorsport series, and has plans for Formula One as well.

Organizers said on Friday the Rajamangala Stadium, home of Thailand's national soccer team, will follow Beijing's 'Bird's Nest' Olympic Stadium as the second venue outside of Europe to put on the event.

The event, which has featured champions like Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel, has been held in Dusseldorf, Germany, for the last two years.

"This race will be a perfect opportunity for Thais to see some of the world's greatest drivers and represents another step by the government in its efforts to promote racing and automotive sports in the Kingdom," Thailand's Minister of Tourism and Sports Chumphol Silpa-archa said in a statement.

"We aim to bring Formula One to Thailand as well."

South East Asia already has two races, with Malaysia and Singapore on the calendar.

The minister was quoted in March as saying Thailand could meet the conditions to host a Formula One race as early as 2014.

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