JUNE 5, 2007

Calendar clashes

Champ Car had been planning to visit China this year - but problems with the promoter meant that the event had to be rescheduled from May 20 to October 28. Or at least that was what was wanted. Unfortunately the FIA has decided that this cannot happen because there has already been a schedule change for Champ Car to allow the series to hold races at Zolder on August 26 and at Assen on September 2.

This was not good news for Formula 1 as there is no doubt that the two events will hit the attendance at Spa on September 16.

When it emerged that Champ Car wanted a date in China in October, Formula One objected, arguing that this would hit the attendance figures for the Chinese GP in Shanghai on October 7.

With Champ Car unable to hold the race, it now finds itself being hit by a lawsuit from race promoter Sino Sports & Entertainment Inc, claiming damages of $15m. The promotion company is run by French-Canadian businessman France Corbeil, who used to be the head of a company called Partnership Production Group International (PPGI), which leased the F1 TV rights in Asia back in the 1990s, with funding from British American Tobacco.

PPGI and BAT later fell out and Corbeil seized the BAR team's F1 cars at Monaco.