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...as Peugeot deal nears

PEUGEOT SPORT is expected to confirm its continued involvement with Prost Grand Prix within the next few days. The two parties already have a deal for the 2000 season but there has been considerable talk suggesting that the contact might be cancelled because Peugeot wants to concentrate its efforts on the World Rally Championship.

Speaking in Finland last week the President of Peugeot Sport, Corrado Provera, said that it was in Peugeot's interest to continue in Formula 1 until the end of the current contract. Provera added that such a decision was however conditional on the cost as Peugeot expects "an explosion" in F1 budgets as major car manufacturers become more involved in the sport.

Provera added that Peugeot's dealer organizations had urged the company to continue in F1 to show that the company is capable of success in the sport and underlined the company's commitment by pointing out that there are 210 people working on the F1 engine program at Velizy and another 200 Peugeot engineers who have been involved intermittently in helping the Prost team improve its performance.

One of Prost's biggest supporters within the Peugeot empire is Bruno Courtois, a major Peugeot dealer in the west of Paris, who has a long history of motor racing sponsorship and was previously part-owner of the Apomatox Formula 3000 team which became Gauloises Formula - the Prost junior team - this year.

We expect a Prost-Peugeot announcement at the forthcoming Belgian Grand Prix.

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