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MARCH 26, 2008

Richards to deliver keynote speech at Bahrain Forum

David Richards, chairman of Prodrive and Aston Martin, and a former F1 team principal of the BAR and Benetton, will deliver the opening keynote address for the first Motor Sport Business Forum Middle East on April 1-2.

Richards will be joined on the conference schedule by McLaren boss Ron Dennis, who will give the keynote on the second day of the Forum. Among the other speakers will be Simon Azzam, chief executive of Union Properties, which is building the F1 theme park in Dubai, plus Peter Baumgartner, the marketing chief of Etihad Airways.

The Forum will be held at the Bahrain International Circuit, in the run-up to this yearâ„¢s Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix. The event has raised enormous interest throughout the region and represents the first time it has taken place outside its traditional home in Monaco.

"When I visited the Gulf in the mid-1970s to organise the first international rally in the region and set up the Middle East Rally Championship, motor sport was in its infancy," said David Richards. "Today, the fact that Bahrain is hosting the most important global motor sport forum shows how far the sport has progressed in the last 30 years and what a prominent position the region has now established for itself within the motor sport industry."'s Joe Saward will chair the media panel at the Forum.