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JUNE 6, 2005

On the streets of Paris

Last weekend the famed Avenue Champs Elysees in Paris was turned into a sporting arena (complete with a swimming pool) on the eve of the publication of the International Olympic Committee's evaluation report on the five candidate cities. Tens of thousands of Parisians turned up to watch the fun, including the mayor Bertrand Delanoe andn France's Minister of Sports Jean-Francois Lamour. The decision as to which city will host the 2012 Games will be taken by the IOC on June 6 at a meeting in Singapore and Paris is the favourite ahead of London, New York, Madrid and Moscow. The 123-page report which followed boosted confidence that France will get the event, although London also got a good report. Moscow fared less well and was criticised for a lack of detailed planning. The decision is important for motor racing because it is likely that the cities that do not win may turn their attention to landing a Grand Prix if they lose out on the Olympic Games. London, New York and Moscow have all been tipped as possible F1 venues in the mid to long term.

In the mean time, the Federation Fran?aise du Sport Automobile and Renault are planning to jump on the bandwagon next weekend when they set up a F1 paddock outside Renault's showroom on the Champs Elysees, featuring the Renault F1 hospitality unit and an exhibition called "The Secrets of Formula 1" inside the exhibition hall. The display will last two days.

"What better way to bring the show to the general public then to give them 48 hours of the Grand Prix de France in nation's capital," said Jacques Regis, the FFSA president.