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Fittipaldi commits to GPM until 2007

Double Formula One world champion Emerson Fittipaldi has committed to Grand Prix Masters for two years, can reveal.

The 59-year-old has signed a deal to race in the series until the end of 2007 at least, having been convinced of the series' potential in the maiden GP Masters race in Kyalami last November.

Fittipaldi was initially cautious about racing in Kyalami and didn't confirm his participation until the weekend of the inaugural race because he had concerns about safety.

However, he became satisfied with the cars, circuit and his physical fitness to compete and finished second behind 1992 world champion Nigel Mansell.

The deal will be announced later today at a press conference planned to reveal details of live coverage of the series on Brazilian television station SBT.

GP Masters CEO Scott Poulter is delighted that Fittipaldi has committed to the series.

"It's a really big deal for us," Poulter told "Kyalami convinced him. He was concerned about the safety in the cars and he was a bit cautious but he's seen what we have done.

"He's been training over the winter and looks fabulous at the moment and is really bullish about his chances this year."

Poulter admitted that the tie-up could lead to a race in Fittipaldi's native Brazil in the future.

"We are signing a live TV deal with a company over there and we will obviously look to have a race in Brazil," Poulter added.

This season's first GP Masters race is being held at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar next weekend.

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