02/19/2012 09:48 EST | Updated 04/20/2012 05:12 EDT

Bahrain launches ticket sales, new slogan for F1 race despite ongoing protest in the country

MANAMA, Bahrain - Bahrain Grand Prix officials began selling tickets Sunday for April's Formula One race in the Gulf kingdom, the latest sign the government is determined to hold the race despite ongoing protests.

Bahrain's season-opening race last year was cancelled because of the unrest. This year's race is scheduled for April 22 and F1's governing body FIA has insisted the event will go ahead.

There have been lingering doubts, though, over the viability of holding the race, given the continued political unrest that has paralyzed parts of the capital Manama. At least 40 people have died in the Shiite-led demonstrations which have targeted the Sunni rulers.

Along with the ticket launch, officials announced this year's slogan: Unif1ed-One Nation in Celebration.