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FEBRUARY 2, 1998

Griggs moves on

JUDITH GRIGGS, the chief executive of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, is to leave the job after this year's event. She will return to London and is expected to continue her motor racing career in Europe, probably working with Bernie Ecclestone in an organizational role in one of his operations.

Griggs has proved herself to be a very able administrator and has handled the difficult job in Melbourne with great skill. She has been involved in Grand Prix racing since 1986 when she worked in the legal department of the Australian GP in Adelaide. In 1989 Ecclestone asked her if she would like to work for his organization in London and she spent the next four years on his staff.

When Ecclestone concluded the deal for Melbourne to run the Australian Grand Prix he asked Griggs is she would like to be in charge and she ran the event from its inception, building it into a world-class event, despite a great deal of opposition in Melbourne.

Griggs will be succeeded as chief executive by her deputy John Harnden, a 32-year-old civil engineer who has been involved in motor racing for nine years, having been drawn into the sport through Kinhill Engineering, an Australian firm which has been involved in a variety of F1 projects in recent years.

Harnden was track manager at Adelaide before joining the team in Melbourne but has also been involved in the design of the Zhuhai International Circuit in China and in feasibility studies for races in Malaysia and Argentina.

It is ironic that in the week that Griggs announced her departure the remnants of the Save Albert Park protest group launched a new campaign to try to convince Melbourne that the Grand Prix should be moved out of the city. About 150 protesters occupied one of the sites where work has begun on the preparations for this year's race in Melbourne.