Address: Sokol Racing Track, M-36, Kazakhstan
PH: +7 707 701 50 55
Circuit type: Permanent road course
Kazakhstan's first major motorsports complex has been a long time in delivery, but the Sokol Circuit soon hopes to be operating fully, ready to build the country's interest in motorsport and, possibly, attract international series to the country for the first time.
One of the largest project investors is Alijan Ibrahimov, on of Kazakhstan's richest businessmen through his Eurasian Resources Group firm. Full costs of the project are undisclosed, though there has been a concerted effort to make a world-class facility. This was reflected in the choice of track designer; with ambitions to lure series such as MotoGP and possibly even F1, Hermann Tilke's concern was hired to draw up the masterplan.
It's probably fair to say that Tilke stuck to a familiar format when designing Sokol, which bears a strong resemblance to the Bahrain International Circuit.
Construction began in 2012 and the drag strip and karting circuits the first to be completed. The outline of the main circuit soon began to be carved out in the earth and the pit building complex, which also incorporates a 44-room hotel, was also completed relatively early in the project.
Then, for reasons that aren't immediately apparent, work slowed to a crawl and by 2019, the circuit was still not complete. However, it appears that new impetus is bringing the project to a conclusion, ready for fully opening in 2020.
In the meantime, the kart and drag strips are busy with activity, while there are also areas for golf, paintball and a car museum on the site, as well as a camping zone for outdoor activities.
Sokol Racing Track is located near the village of Mezhdurechenskoe in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Almaty International Airport is around an hour's drive to the south east of the circuit.
By car, the circuit is around 50 minutes from the centre of Almaty and 20 minutes from the city of Kaskelen.
The easiest way is to reach the circuit from Almaty is to travel west along the Raiymbek Avenue, then head out onto the A2 motorway for 24 km. Turn right after the petrol station to the M-36 highway and follow the signs to the circuit.