Bulgaria hoping to secure F1 race from 2011

SOFIA, July 2 (Reuters) - Bulgarian officials will meet Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone next week in the hope of agreeing a deal for the country to host a grand prix from 2011.
Bulgarian Motorcycling Federation (BMF) president Bogdan Nikolov told Reuters by telephone from Istanbul on Thursday that grand prix organising committee chief Rumen Petkov had been invited by Ecclestone to the German Grand Prix at the Nuerburgring.
Nikolov, who announced Bulgaria's plans to host a Formula One race last December, was hopeful a contract could be signed.
He said the BMF had two projects for a circuit and were waiting to hear Ecclestone's opinion. The track is likely to be near the northern town of Pleven.
"We've already submitted our plan a few months ago and it was considered by Formula One Management," he said.
"According to the draft, Bulgaria could sign a contract to host a Formula One race between 2011 and 2015 and there's an option for a contract extension until 2020."
The BMF signed a preliminary agreement in February with MotoGP commercial rights holders Dorna to host a round of that world championship from 2012 to 2016.
Bulgaria, which has been hit hard by the global economic downturn along with other eastern European countries, has also been listed provisionally on the world rally championship calendar next year.
Neighbouring Turkey has a Formula One grand prix at present. However, Istanbul circuit officials have expressed concern that the contract could end in 2011. Only 36,000 three-day tickets were sold for this year's race.