By Duncan Mackay

Virgin Formula One carJune 18 - A special promotional race featuring cars representing Renault and Virgin is to be staged in Sochi next month to give Russians a taster of what they can expect when the Black Sea resort hosts its first Formula One race in three years, it has been announced.

The demonstration event on July 17 will take place on a temporary circuit built around Sochi's city centre.

It has been organised by the Krasnodar region's motorsport federation with the support of Dmitry Kozak, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister and head of the Russian race's Organising Committeem, and Alexander Tkachev, Governor of the Krasnodar region.

Sochi last October agreed a $40 million (£25 million) deal with Formula One to host a race, starting in 2014, although this may be postponed for a year if it interferes with preparations for that year's Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

The race is due to be held on a circuit that will be built in the Olympic Park.

Both Renault and Virgin have close relationships with Russia.

Renault currently field Formula One's first and only Russian driver in Vitaly Petrov, while Virgin are part owned by Russian sports car makers Marussia Motors..

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
December 2010: Exclusive - Olympics in 2014 takes precedence over Formula One promise Sochi
November 2010: Sochi 2014 preparations will not be compromised by Formula One race
October 2010: Sochi to host Formula One after Putin signs deal with Ecclestone
June 2010: Sochi Mayor confirms plan for city to host F1 after Olympics