Chang International Circuit Buriram
The Buriram United International Circuit has exploded onto the motorsports scene, propelling Thailand onto the international stage for the first time. Now also known as Chang International Circuit thanks to a sponsorship deal with a brewery, the circuit has been created to the highest FIA and FIM standards, potentially putting it in line to host Formula One and MotoGP races in the future.
The project is the mastermind of wealthy local politician and former cabinet minister Newin Chidchob, who also owns the football club with its lavish new stadium a short distance from the track. The aim was to build the rural city (whose name in the Khmer language means 'City of Happiness') into a sporting destination in a bid to boost its profile and attract tourism to the north east of Thailand.
Construction on the 2 billion baht (around £38 million) circuit began in March 2013 and progressed very quickly. Hermann Tilke was employed to design the masterplan, with the brief that as much of the track as possible should be viewable from the main 50,000 seat grandstand. With a 1,200 acre site available, this still allowed for the inclusion of two long straight sections (one of which is 1km in length), as well as a more compact complex in front of the grandstand.
Unusually, the pit garages themselves are located under the main grandstand so as not to obstruct the view and the result is a very imposing structure which dominates the skyline, reminiscent of the pit buildings at Le Mans.
The Buriram International Circuit (known as Chang International Circuit (ช้าง อินเตอร์เนชั่นแนล เซอร์กิต) for commercial purposes, but listed by its non-commercial name because of alcohol restrictions in some countries) is a motorsport race track in Buriram, Buriram Province, Thailand. The circuit was opened in 2014. This is the first FIA Grade 1 and FIM Grade A circuit in Thailand. The track's primary corporate sponsor, Chang Beer, named the track as part of the sponsorship; however, because of laws regarding alcohol sponsorship in and Qatar, the circuit uses the non-commercial name in FIM documentation.