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Imola remains hopeful of 2007 GP

NEWS STORY
30/08/2006

Speaking to the Italian news agency ANSA, the Mayor of Imola, Massimo Marchignoli, has said that he remains hopeful the town's race track, which has hosted twenty-six San Marino Grands Prix and one Italian Grand Prix, will host an F1 race in 2007, despite the fact that the race was omitted from the provisional calendar issued by the FIA yesterday.

"We're not dead yet," he said. "Certainly, the appearance of this FIA document is unexpected," he continued. "Only a few days ago, Bernie Ecclestone told the president of SAGIS (the company that runs the Imola circuit) that the race would be held on April 29.

"The renovation of the pits and paddock, which Ecclestone had demanded as a condition of retaining the circuit, would begin shortly," Marchignoli confirmed, adding; "I've noticed that there's a month-long hole in the calendar. Everything seems to be telling us: 'Imola, you've still got a place if you get things sorted out'," he added.

San Marino's Minister for Tourism and Sport, Paride Andreoli remains equally confident that Imola will be reprieved: It's a good sign that, as the provisional calendar shows, there are no Grands Prix between the middle of April and the middle of May," he said.

Meanwhile, according to Reuters, SAGIS president Federico Bendinelli says that Ecclestone has promised to reinstate Imola at a FIA meeting on October 18 provided the renovations meet with the governing body's approval.

"For me, nothing has changed," he said. "Ecclestone told me that the grand prix would be included in the calendar on October 18 if we met the agreed conditions, in particular as regarded the building work."

"I don't think he wants to go back on his word," he added.

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