APRIL 24, 2000
Long Beach in the running?
SUGGESTIONS that Formula 1 racing may be interested in a race at Detroit seem to be a little wide of the mark but new rumors have emerged suggesting that there are troubles between CART and Dover Downs Entertainment, which organizes a variety of CART events, notably the Grand Prix of Long Beach and the race at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis. The stories suggested that Chris Pook, the founder of Long Beach is unhappy that CART is planning to drop Gateway from the calendar in 2001 and is threatening to switch Long Beach to Formula 1.
Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA's Charlie Whiting were in America last week and although Ecclestone was not seen in Long Beach, Whiting was definitely there.
The city of Long Beach began holding an annual Grand Prix on the streets in 1975 when the first Formula 5000 event took place. From 1976 until 1983 the race was held for Formula 1 cars but Pook and Ecclestone failed to agree on money and Pook did a deal with CART instead. The race has remained a CART event ever since and in October last year a deal was announced for Long Beach to continue with CART until 2005. Whether this deal was actually completed is unclear but there is no doubt that Bernie Ecclestone would love to have F1 back in Long Beach - if the money is right.
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