F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone contacted organizers in May about a possible bid to replace IndyCar race
By: GMM on March 3, 2014
LAT PHOTOGRAPHIC – IndyCar has raced annually at Long Beach since 1984.
Reports suggest that Long Beach could return to Formula One’;s schedule as early as 2016. Last year, bosses of the iconic U.S. street race denied reports that F1 figures had expressed interest in snapping up a deal when IndyCar’;s contract expires in 2015.
Race president Jim Michaelian said in 2013 that, “the race isn’;t for sale and there’;s been no contact between anyone and [owner] Kevin [Kalkhoven] about a sale.”
However, the Long Beach Press Telegram is now reporting that, at a meeting on Tuesday, the city council will discuss the issue of the race lease, claiming F1 bosses “want the city to open up the bidding process.”
“We just want a fair process where qualified people can bid on it,” said Chris Pook, F1’;s original Long Beach pioneer who is now working closely with F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone. “We would like to be one of those entities.”
The Long Beach Press Telegram reported that in a letter to Mayor Bob Foster last May, Ecclestone expressed interest in taking F1 back to the streets.
“If you and the city council so determine, the opportunity to operate an automobile race through the city streets of Long Beach can be put out to open bid,” Ecclestone wrote. “Please be advised that Formula One is interested in returning to your city, and we will consider the appropriate entity to make such a bid if you decide to permit such a process.”
F1 raced on the streets of Long Beach from 1976 until 1983. Champ Car and IndyCar have raced on the course annually since 1984.
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