JUNE 22, 1998
INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY is waiting to hear from Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone whether there can be a Grand Prix at The Brickyard in the year 2000. All the signs are that if the money is right Ecclestone will jump at the chance to get a race at one of the most famous tracks in the world. For years Ecclestone has been saying that he would like F1 to take place at Monaco, Indianapolis and Le Mans - the three most famous race tracks in the world - and it is unlikely that he will let the Indianapolis opportunity slip by.
If there is an agreement we would expect the event to be known as the Indianapolis Grand Prix. This would leave open the opportunity for a United States GP to be held elsewhere. F1 has not had a race in the US since Phoenix in 1991 but there are currently five projects under discussion: Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Atlanta, San Francisco and Dallas.
While Las Vegas remains a possible site for a race, Atlanta is not likely as the circuit owner Don Panoz says he is not willing to pay the money Ecclestone is demanding. There has been little evidence of a serious project in Dallas but San Francisco's Mayor Willie Brown turned up at the Monaco Grand Prix, increasing speculation that he is serious about a race. In a newspaper interview last week Brown said that he is looking at the year 2001 and the most likely site for a race would be on a circuit overlooking San Francisco Bay at the old Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, in the southern part of the city between Downtown and the airport, and close to Candlestick Park, the home of the San Francisco 49ers.
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