APRIL 13, 2005
Champ Cars in China
The Champ Car World Series has signed an important new deal with Beijing Assets Management Company Ltd to hold a race in Beijing, beginning in 2006. BSAM, which is a state-owned business, will promote the event. The initial plan is for the race to be held at the Goldenport Motor Park in Beijing. The facility is small and will need work before it can host a Champ Car race but this arrangement is only for three years. After the race in 2008 the race will be transferred to the Olympic Park where a road course will be laid out on the streets around the Olympic Stadium. This will enable Beijing to continue to use the infrastructure put in place for the Games, which BSAM now oversees. It is estimated that BSAM has an asset portfolio which is worth around $1.2bn and as these assets begin to generate money the value of the business will rise. BSAM currently owns shares in around 70 enterprises, most of them related to the Olympic Games.
The agreement suggests that Formula 1 is going to have difficulty playing Shanghai off against Beijing in the future as it seems that Beijing will be tied to Champ Cars for many years ahead. The only way around this situation would be if a private circuit was built in Beijing or if BSAM agreed to a deal with both Champ Car and F1, which is unlikely given the costs of an F1 race.
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