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JUNE 23, 2004

French GP will break even

The French Grand Prix looks like breaking even this year, despite the problems over the event in the course of the winter. The promotion of the race was taken over this year by the Federation Francaise du Sport Automobile, the French national sporting authority.

"In the current situation the federation is very satisfied," said FFSA President Jacques Regis. "And we can see that there is potential for development in the future. Considering we have done everything in five and a half months we can only be satisfied."

Regis said that there would be 57,000 spectators and with 10 days to go before the event the sales could rise another 10%. The event will feature not only Formula 1 but also Formula 3000, two races of the Formula 3 Eurocup, the Porsche Supercup and a race for Bugatti Grand Prix cars. There will also be all manner of off track activities including a display organised by the Ministry of Defence to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings and the Allied landings which took in Provence in August 1944. These will include a parachute drop from an original Dakota DC3.

Regis said that he big challenge now is to make the 2005 event a success because the fees for holding the race will increase by 10% and so ticket sales will need to increase next year to balance the budget. Regis said that the FFSA is trying to bring down hotel prices in the region but said that it was not easy and acknowledged that some of the hotels were operating what he called "rackets".