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Page last updated at 12:24 GMT, Thursday, 19 February 2009

Malaysia night-race plan aborted

The Sepang Circuit
The Sepang Circuit has hosted a Grand Prix every season since 1999

Organisers of the Malaysian Grand Prix plan to host a "twilight" race from next season after the proposed night event was deemed too costly.

Sepang International Circuit chairman Mokhzani Mahathir said Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone had agreed to start the race at 1700 local time (0900 BST).

Mokhzani described the cost of lighting up the Sepang circuit as "prohibitive" in the current global economic climate.

It will be the second race of the 2009 season, taking place on 5 April.

The race was previously held two hours earlier but should now attract more locals in the cooler late afternoon.

606: DEBATE

"We are experiencing an economic slowdown. But we are offering attractive packages and activities to attract spectators," said Mokhzani, who is expecting 12,000 spectators.

Malaysia held its first Grand Prix in 1999 with Ferrari's Eddie Irvine triumphing.

Under a new contract signed in 2008, in which it agreed to be prepared to stage night racing, Malaysia will continue to host races until 2015.

Last year neighbouring Singapore hosted the first F1 night race, while Abu Dhabi will make its debut this year.

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see also
F1 goes for a night on the town
25 Sep 08 |  Formula One
Street races concern Ferrari boss
21 Sep 08 |  Formula One
Melbourne to keep GP until 2015
04 Jul 08 |  Formula One
Raikkonen eases to Malaysia win
23 Mar 08 |  Formula One
Australia F1 night race ruled out
17 Mar 08 |  Formula One


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