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A night race in Texas?

NEWS STORY
27/05/2007

With Bernie Ecclestone desperately keen to host a number of Grands Prix at night - though he appears not to have consulted the FIA yet - an enterprising circuit owner in the USA has offered his track as a possible venue.

Eddie Gossage, who owns the Texas Motor Speedway, claims to have invited Ecclestone to a night-time Indy car race at his track on June 9, the day before the Canadian GP.

"I think it would be of great interest to Mr Ecclestone and his staff to visit Texas Motor Speedway and get an opportunity to witness and evaluate open-wheel cars running at high speeds under the lights," Gossage told reporters. "Although a road course would offer different challenges, we could educate them about our lighting system and discuss some of the issues we encountered when we staged the first-ever night-time race in 1997.

"I think a night race for Formula One would be a terrific event for the sport and we would like to help them achieve that goal."

According to Reuters, Gossage has yet to receive a response from Mr Ecclestone.

Memo to Mr Gossage:

Mr Gossage, sorry but you are missing the point. Mr Ecclestone doesn't want a night race per se, what he wants is to have his cake and eat it. He wants a race, preferably in a city, for which the organizers will agree to a long-term and extremely expensive contract. Unfortunately, circuit owners can no longer afford such deals, only governments, particularly those in the east, the emerging economies.

Because he also wants to maximise the lucrative TV deals he has in place in Europe, he needs these races held at night in order that the sport's main fan base can watch the event at a reasonable time.

Now, with the Texas Motor Speedway seven hours behind Europe, in order to fit in with Mr E's schedule it isn't a night race you'd need to host - in addition to paying all that money - it's an early morning race.

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