Carmakers announce breakaway series - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Carmakers announce breakaway series

27/10/2004 05:21:52 AM Comments (0)

Four top carmakers announced plans to split from Formula One and launch a rival open-wheel Grand Prix racing series by 2008.

The Grand Prix World Championship (GPWC) consortium, which has been seeking a bigger share of F1's revenues, appointed a leading international marketing agency to organise the breakaway circuit.

International Sports and Entertainment AG was awarded the commercial rights to run a series that will be "the pinnacle of world motor sports," GPWC said in a statement.

The series, to begin "no later" than 2008, will "maintain the strengths of Formula One, while eliminating its weaknesses," it said.

GPWC represents BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Ferrari and Renault. Ford, which is dropping out of F1, has passed on its shareholding in GPWC to the other four carmakers.

GPWC Holdings BV was formed in May 2001 and has been negotiating with SLEC Holdings Ltd., F1's commercial arm, about the future of the sport.

The manufacturers have been pushing for a bigger slice of F1's estimated annual income of STG450 million pounds ($A1.11 billion).

The carmakers had previously threatened to establish a rival series starting in 2007, then called off the plans after a preliminary deal was reached with SLEC in December 2003.

But GPWC accused the F1 agency of failing to comply with the terms. The carmakers broke off talks in April 2004 and resumed plans for their own circuit.

"We have been more than patient with the current management and governance of Formula One, but recent developments have underlined the need for a structure that guarantees a stable and prosperous future of the sport," GPWC chairman Joergen Hubbert said.

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