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Chitwood confident of new Indianapolis deal

NEWS STORY
30/06/2006

Despite Bernie Ecclestone's claim that Formula One does not need America, it is widely thought that the United States will continue its curious on-off relationship with the sport.

Badly bruised following last year's fiasco, it is hoped that a great weekend of racing, together with a little humility and a pinch of common sense, might help as Ecclestone sits down to discuss the future of Formula One at Indianapolis, as the current contract comes to an end.

Speaking to the media yesterday, Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) President and Chief Operating Officer Joie Chitwood said: "Our feeling when Tony George made the investment was for the long-term if F1 is to be successful in America.

"We are not sure that a new deal is something that will be resolved this week," he continued. "I assume that we will have some initial conversations with Mr Ecclestone. We have said that we want the race to continue here. We are optimistic that it will."

Although he refused to get drawn into the on-going debate over Ecclestone's comments, Chitwood clearly feels that F1 does not America: "If you want to have an international series, America should be part of it," he said. "America is a huge economy when compared to the rest of the globe."

Referring to the shambles that was last year's event, Chitwood is confident that a good race weekend will help to lay the ghost of 2005 to rest: "Because last year didn't live up to expectations, we didn't want that to be the last experience (fans) had with F1 in this country, he admitted.

"Hopefully, we will do the best job possible and put on a spectacular event. Many seem to have accepted what happened last year and put it behind them."

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