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Valencia GP announcement imminent

NEWS STORY
09/05/2007

It is understood that an announcement will be made on Wednesday confirming that Valencia will host a round of the Formula One World Championship from next year.

With speculation building in the Spanish media on Tuesday, late on Wednesday afternoon came news of a press conference at midday on Thursday (10 May), to be attended by Bernie Ecclestone and Francisco Camps, president of the regional government.

Camps has had a number of meetings with Ecclestone, the most recent being last month in London. It's understood that the financial arrangements are in place and all that remained was the dotting of a few Is and the crossing of the remaining Ts.

In recent years Valencia has undergone a startling transformation, becoming one of the most vibrant cities in Europe. A mark of the city's rise as a major player is that both the America's Cup and the IIAF World Indoor Championships are to be held there. A Grand Prix would be the icing on the cake.

The event will be held on a street circuit encompassing the port area, which has been renovated as part of the $2.7 billion redevelopment required for the America's Cup.

A few years ago, Formula One was unable to command anything like the attention given to motorcycle events in Spain, then came Fernando Alonso, who, single-handed, has turned the nation on to the series.

With the Spanish hardly able to get enough F1, it remains unclear whether Spain will host two races in 2008, or whether Valencia will alternate with Barcelona.

That said, with a street race around the port, Ecclestone finally has another Monaco-style glamour event on his hands, all the better thanks to the city's tourist infrastructure.

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