Tony George Rejects Extra Race Idea

Indianapolis Motor Speedway boss Tony George has rejected an offer for a non-Championship race for the Michelin teams to be held at his track later this year as a way of making up for the disappointment of last month's United States Grand Prix

Tony George Rejects Extra Race Idea

The seven Michelin outfits have been formulating plans for the extra race to take place after the season-closing Chinese Grand Prix and asked Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone to get in contact with Indianapolis officials.

But George has said that he is not interested at all in an extra race and said he believed there were bigger issues involved in the whole affair that needed resolving.

"There will be no (race) at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this fall," George told The Indianapolis Star, while making it clear that he had had no personal contact with the Michelin teams involved.

"Our position to Bernie, who is our link to the F1 community, is that the sooner we can get the focus back on the real issues that affect all of us, the better off we'll be."

McLaren boss Ron Dennis was one of several team bosses at the French Grand Prix claiming that the offer was there for the race - but that it was up to Indianapolis whether they wanted it or not.

"We can't make it happen," said Dennis. "We said we'd do it if that was something that would supplement the already generous package offered by Michelin.

"We can only try and demonstrate by our actions and our proposals our acceptance that, innocent we may be, we were party to the problem. The proposal was made through Bernie to Indianapolis. It's for them to decide whether they want to take up the option or not."

Indianapolis officials are still trying to finalise arrangements to fulfil Michelin's offer of a ticket refund for race fans this year and track spokesman Ron Green claimed that the circuit's focus was on this, before it switched attention to the 2006 race.

"Priority No. 1 is resolving everything from this year's race," Green said. "Priority No. 2 is working on an event for 2006."

He added that there was "no energy" for anything else.

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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
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