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US Grand Prix gets Promoters Trophy at FIA prizegiving

THE United States Grand Prix landed the prestigious Promoters Trophy at the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) end-of-season prizegiving awards on Friday.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Tony George collected the prize from FIA vice-president Bernie Ecclestone, who selected the event as one of his three surprise awards.

The US Grand Prix returned to the Formula One calendar for 2000 after a nine-year absence and Ecclestone said the event narrowly beat off Monaco, Australia and Malaysia for the award.

"Most Formula One promoters are increasingly helpful to Formula One teams," Ecclestone said. "It has therefore become more and more difficult to select a winner.

"Grands Prix like Monaco, Australia and Malaysia have, as usual, excelled themselves.

"This year, that little edge, which results in winning the trophy, was obtained by Tony George, president of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and promoter of the United States Grand Prix."

Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher collected his prize at the annual ceremony, which took place at the Monte Carlo Sporting Club, in front of 600 guests.

Ecclestone's two other awards, the TV Trophy and the Bernie Ecclestone Trophy, went to German television broadcaster RTL and the Deutsche Motor Sport Bund respectively.

The Bernie Ecclestone Trophy is awarded the sponsor whose drivers collect the most points during the season. Deutsche Motor Sport Bund have associations with German drivers Schumacher, his younger brother Ralf and Heinz-Harald Frentzen. They amassed 143 points.

Champions from the world of rallying, drag racing, hillclimbing, karting and endurance racing also collected their winners prizes at the ceremony.

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