JULY 30, 2004
Spa invites 60,000 for free
The organizers of the Belgian Grand Prix have invited 60,000 fans for free on Friday, August 27. In order to be one of the lucky group potential spectators will need to pick up a coupon made available through promotional offers or competitions organised by the participating companies: Coca-Cola, Proximus, Total, RTL-TVi, La Derniere Heure/Les Sports, Dag Allemaal, Cine Tele Revue Eurosport and Euro News. The scheme is the idea of the race's new promoter Didier Defourny who reckons that a percentage of those fans will want to see the race and will pay $125 to attend on Sunday, with cut price tickets for kids.
The race is also planning to have a free pitlane walkabout on Thursday for anyone who has a weekend admission ticket. The idea has been a big success at other races this year with some of the drivers likely to be on hand to sign autographs during the afternoon. The promotion is aimed at attracting local spectators because in recent years Spa's crowd has been 90% foreign, including large numbers of German, French, British and Dutch fans.
The track will be much the same as before although there has been a change to The Bus Stop chicane with the entry having been moved to the right and the exit altered slightly. The organizers say that 50,000 tickets have already been sold for the event.
Defourny, who runs a promotional agency called Didier Defourny Grand Prix (DDGP), is a Frenchman, a former racer who enjoyed some success in national GT events. He has been appointed by the Walloon regional government to make the race a success and at 38 is one of the younger promoters in the world.
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