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Brandy Station in trouble

THE promoters of a Formula 1 standard racing circuit at Brandy Station, Virginia, appear to have run into serious difficulty in recent weeks with the land on which the track is supposed to be built going up for auction next week - unless the developers can raise $1.6 million.

Work on the track in Culpeper County began a year ago with the land being cleared and drainage prepared; but then the Federal Government ordered work to stop because there was no Wet Lands permit which is necessary for the construction. This triggered a historical review of the site which in turn stirred up the preservationists, who have been fighting to stop the track being built because it is on the site of the 1863 Battle of Brandy Station - the largest cavalry battle fought in the United States.

The fight for control of the land has been going on since September 1993 when Benton Ventures announced its plans for the circuit. A year later a judge ruled that 425 acres could be sold to Benton Ventures, despite opposition from the Brandy Station Foundation, for $5000 an acre. We understand that $500,000 was paid but the outstanding $1.6 million is still needed to complete the purchase so that work on the 3-mile track can start again.

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