OCTOBER 29, 2002
Belgians bid to save their race
This would be enough to save the race in 2003 and then the two senators and the Royal Automobile Club of Belgium could work together to find a long-term solution to the problem.
Back in July, Monfils, the deputy for Liege for the last 20 years and a senator in recent years, and his colleague Jean-Marie Happert tried to modify the bills as it was passing through the parliament but this bid was rejected. They and other deputies from all parties are now arguing that while most are in favor of the tobacco ban, pushing through the ban at the expense of Belgium's premier sporting event makes no sense, not least because it will cause a major loss of income in the Spa area. It could also affect the future of Spa-Francorchamps as the track will find it hard to survive without the Grand Prix.
"We know," said Jean-Francois Istasse, the socialist deputy from Verviers, "that if Belgium loses the race once we will never get it back again."