An expat British editor who is now at the helm of a Bahrain title has launched a campaign in a bid to bring Formula One back to the kingdom.
The Bahrain Grand Prix was due to be held in March as the opening race of the season but political unrest led to it being cancelled.
Now Gulf Weekly editor Stan Szecowka, a former editor of the Clifton Chronicle and deputy editor of the Bristol Evening Post, is calling on F1 Group CEO Bernie Ecclestone to set a new date for the race this year, saying the kingdom is ready to stage it.
The campaign was launched with a front page petition, pictured below, for readers to submit and Stan intends to hand deliver copies of it to the Formula One Management office in central London on a flying visit to the UK next week.
He said: “Sports unites people and everyone in Bahrain loves the Formula One weekend.
“We have had some difficult times recently and rescheduling the Gulf Air Grand Prix 2011 would be a tremendous boost to us all.”
A decision is set to be made about whether to reschedule the race next month and the paper launched its campaign because the F1 boss appeared to be wavering on whether it should go ahead.
Zayed Rashed Al Zayani, chairman of the Bahrain International Circuit, said: “If it was up to us, we are ready. We are ready to host it but unfortunately it is not our decision alone.”
Stan faced the challenge of getting the paper out in March when a state of emergency was declared in Bahrain.