Oct.25 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Organisers of the inaugural Indian grand prix have sold 80,000 tickets ahead of Sunday’s race.

The capacity of the new Buddh circuit is 120,000, the AFP news agency said.

“We have sold close to 80,000 tickets which is pretty encouraging considering that its the first F1 race ever in the country,” said a spokesman for race promoter Jaypee.

“Of course we would have been happier had we sold off 90 per cent tickets because ticket sales are the only source of revenue for us. But there are still a few days to go and we are keeping our fingers crossed,” he added.

In a late bid to fill the circuit, tickets are now being sold at a discounted rate.

London’s Telegraph correspondent Tom Cary wrote on Tuesday that the Buddh circuit is “rough and almost ready” for Sunday’s race.

“But what do you expect?” smiled the country’s motor federation president Vicky Chandhok. “I think people anticipated worse.”

This weekend is proof that India, now a major economic player on the global scale, has also arrived in formula one.

“I would not put it past the (race promoter) Jaypee Group to start investing in a formula one team,” said Chandhok. “That may be the next step.”