GPWC Set for Name Change

Plans for the manufacturer-led breakaway from Formula One will move up another gear in the next few weeks, with the series organisers set to confirm a new name for the GPWC, Autosport-Atlas can reveal

GPWC Set for Name Change

Although a final decision has not been made by the parties involved about what the new name for the series will be, sources have told Autosport-Atlas that one of the favourites that has been discussed extensively during meetings is for the series to be called GPR - short for 'Grand Prix Racing'.

The name change has come about because of the arrival of Toyota and Honda into the fold of the manufacturers. The two Japanese carmakers had been previously reluctant to get involved with the GPWC (short for Grand Prix World Championship), but Bernie Ecclestone's decision to sign a unilateral deal with Ferrari for them to remain in F1 until the end of 2012 angered them so much that they were open to offers from their rival carmakers.

Part of the agreement for Honda and Toyota to join BMW, Renault and Mercedes-Benz in the breakaway plans, however, was that they would only join them in working towards a completely new series. They were not interested in simply signing up to the old GPWC.

That is why series bosses have spent the last few weeks trying to agree on the name change, which should be officially announced after a major meeting planned between interested parties and F1 teams on April 7-8.

Work is progressing at speed behind the scenes on formulating the new framework of rules for the series - with the clear intention being that the new series is being planned to become a reality.

Sources have told Autosport-Atlas that the series organisers have set up four separate committees to focus on different elements of the Championship - with a chairman having been agreed to formulate opinion and create a rule book.

It is understood that the technical rules are being framed by Williams co-owner Patrick Head and McLaren F1 CEO Martin Whitmarsh, the sporting regulations are being led by McLaren team manager Dave Ryan and the media aspects are being led by BAR marketing director Alistair Watkins.

The legal aspects of a successor to the Concorde Agreement, the document by which F1 is run, are being led by Minardi boss Paul Stoddart and a lawyer from the Williams team.

It is hoped that by the end of the two-day meeting planned for next month that the manufacturers will have enough of a framework for the series in place to be able to get commitment from several of the sport's current teams.

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