Belgian GP promoter is bankrupt

DDGP, the company that has been the promoter of the Belgian Grand Prix for the last couple of years, has been declared bankrupt by commercial court of Liege. The company has losses amounting to $11.75m and is in dispute with the local authorities over other payments.

The onus is now on the Societe de Promotion du circuit de Spa-Francorchamps (SPSF) and its chairman Yves Bacquelaine, who is the man in charge of sport at the Royal Automobile Club de Belgique, to find a new promoter for the race. SPSF was established in October 2003 to replace Bernie Ecclestone's Spa Activities and has a contract with Formula One Management until 2010 but finding another sub-contractor is not going to be easy given the losses made by DDGP, which lost $5.4m in 2004 and lost even more this year. DDGP was hoping that the regional government would come to its rescue to cover the losses and supply the $17m needed in race fees next year but the word in Belgium is that the Societe Wallonne de Gestion et de Participation (the regional investment corporation) took a look at the books of DDGP and declined an involvement. The region has already loaned (and now lost) $18m in trying to keep the event alive.

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