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Quiet moves at Indy

THE future of Grand Prix racing in the United States of America remains a subject of much speculation at the moment with various different groups vying to organize a race in the year 2000 when Bernie Ecclestone is planning to relaunch the sport into the US. The project for a race in Las Vegas is well-advanced but still remains bogged down in all the bureaucracy involved in such a project.

It seems that the mayor of San Francisco Willie Brown is very keen on holding a race near the Golden Gate Bridge and he was keen enough about the idea to fly from California to Monaco for the Grand Prix.

And while all this is going on, there continue to be very quiet moves at Indianapolis where Tony George continues to build up his income from the world-renowned speedway. George and F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone have been discussing the possibility of a Formula 1 race on a road circuit in the infield of Indianapolis Motor Speedway for some years. It is a logical relationship given that Ecclestone wants to associate F1 with the Indianapolis name and George wants to give Indianapolis an even bigger worldwide profile with F1.

There had been fears voiced that Grand Prix racing would not attract a big audience in Indianapolis but much the same was said about the idea of bringing NASCAR to the Speedway and the Brickyard 400 has been a huge success for the last couple of years. We understand that there has been talk of the Speedway offering a special three-event ticket to include the Indy 500, the Brickyard 400 and a Formula 1 race, which would probably be called the Indianapolis Grand Prix.

It is no secret that F1 bosses believe that F1 should be racing at the three best-known motorsport venues in the world: Monte Carlo, Le Mans and Indianapolis. The future of the French GP at Magny-Cours is decidedly limited these days with the departure of Prost Grand Prix and the fall from power of the powerful politicians from the Magny-Cours area. There have been several proposals to have the French GP switched to Le Mans and the Automobile Club de l'Ouest appears to be working slowly in that direction.

Indianapolis officials visited the Canadian GP last weekend to meet with FIA delegates and we believe that the international federation now has a proposal for where the race track would run. This will be studied and changes suggested if necessary.

The intention would be for a race to take place in the year 2000 at the earliest.

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