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Korean GP gets green light from FIA

The Korean Grand Prix will be staged for the first time from October 22-24 at the Yeongam circuit.
The Korean Grand Prix will be staged for the first time from October 22-24 at the Yeongam circuit.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Korean Grand Prix has been cleared by FIA officials after delays in completing circuit
  • After a two-day safety check, the newly-built track was deemed "satisfactory"
  • There had been uncertainty over whether the track would be finished time
  • Venues should be finished 90 days before a race, but Korean GP will be held on October 24

(CNN) -- The inaugural Korean Grand Prix will take place as planned later this month, after the newly-built track passed its delayed final inspection from Formula One officials.

Following a two-day long safety check, the 3.5-mile (5.6-kilometer) Yeongam circuit built on marshland on the South Korean coast was deemed "satisfactory" for racing by the sports' governing body the FIA.

There had been months of uncertainty over whether the Korean Grand Prix would happen, with F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone expressing his doubts that the site would be ready in time.

According to the the FIA's own regulations, a new venue should be completed 90 days before a race is due to take place, but a previous inspection was postponed in September to allow extra time to finish building work.

However, the race will take place as scheduled from October 22-24, despite a final layer of asphalt having only been laid on the track a week ago.

We are delighted that all works are now finished to the complete satisfaction of the FIA
--Yung Cho Chung, KARA chairman
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Despite the delays, the chairman of the Korea Automobile Racing Association, Yung Cho Chung, insists race organizers are ready to host their first F1 Grand Prix.

"We are delighted that all works are now finished to the complete satisfaction of the FIA, and we join the whole of Korea in welcoming the Formula One fraternity to the Korea International Circuit for the first time," he said in a statement on the official F1 website on Tuesday.

"The KIC has been constructed to the highest standards, and will become the epicenter of motorsport in the country."

The Korean Grand Prix will be the 17th of 19 races this season, which finishes in Abu Dhabi on November 14. Red Bull's Mark Webber leads the drivers' standings, ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

After all the controversy, South Korea will be hoping the event is a success, as the country is also bidding to host the 2018 Winter Olympics.

"We believe the Grand Prix will be the catalyst to ignite enormous interest in the sport across the nation," Chung added.