NOVEMBER 2, 1998
...and then Bernie flies to New York
AFTER his meeting with President Menem, Bernie Ecclestone flew to the United States for a short holiday with his wife and children in New York. We believe that Bernie will also have talks with Indianapolis Motor Speedway boss Tony George to finalize the deal for Grand Prix racing to go to Indy in the summer of 2000.
Although George is understood to be asking for a race in September 2000 we think that Ecclestone wants to have the race tied in with the Canadian Grand Prix, which traditionally takes place in mid-June.
While up to now we have thought this would mean a week after Montreal so as to avoid being too close to the IndianapolisÊ500, we have heard in recent days that Ecclestone may have more radical plans and wants to schedule the Grand Prix for the Memorial Day weekend, the traditional date of the Indianapolis 500. While George may not be very interested in that idea there is no doubt that the status of the Indy 500 has suffered in recent years because of the civil war between CART and IRL.
Ecclestone is expected to argue that the 500 can take place in September and still attract the big crowds but that the May date would guarantee a massive audience for the first Indianapolis Grand Prix.
While many in North American racing circles would consider this to be sacrilege, Ecclestone has never been one to let tradition stand in the way of a good idea...