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Road Atlanta's F1 plans

ALTHOUGH Don Panoz says he would like to host the United States Grand Prix at his Road Atlanta facility, he is not willing to pay the $10m fee which is being demanded by Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone - at least not in the short term. Panoz has invested considerably in the racing circuit and hopes that the work will mean that he can run a CART race at the circuit next season. This would help to pay for further modifications which are needed for Grand Prix racing, including more grandstands, a new pitlane and race control building, hospitality suites and better access.

"We are not paying the type of money that they want," says the track's new executive director Bob Barnard. "It does not make commercial sense. This is a fabulous piece of asphalt. We have the best facility if they want to bring Grand Prix racing here. If Bernie Ecclestone is serious about wanting to make F1 work in the United States this is the place he needs to come."

Ecclestone is believed to be more interested in a deal with Las Vegas.

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