GP Masters Confident over Name

The organisers of the new Grand Prix Masters series are confident that their series will be able to keep its title, despite an objection from Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone

GP Masters Confident over Name

Ecclestone has lodged a complaint against the Masters series over the use of the term 'Grand Prix', which his companies have been trying to trademark themselves.

But despite the opposition, organisers of the racing series for Formula One veterans believe there is no need for concern in view the formalities required by the European Commission in such instances.

Nav Sidhu, spokesman for Grand Prix Masters, told Autosport-Atlas: "We have made a number of trade mark applications, one of which has been objected to.

"This is perfectly normal and forms part of an administrative filing process in which interested third parties are invited to lodge objections to any new applications.

"We are pursuing all of our trade mark applications and remain confident they will be registered once the filing process has run its course. In the meantime, preparations remain well underway for the first race in South Africa on November 13th."

The first shakedown of the Masters car is planned for the end of this month, followed by a comprehensive testing programme. The drivers signed up for the series are currently undergoing seat fittings.

Sidhu added that interest in the category, which has tempted, among others, former World Champion Nigel Mansell out of retirement, was booming.

"We are still nine weeks away from the inaugural event and it must be said that the level of international interest from race fans has been nothing short of extraordinary; especially following last week's announcement confirming Nigel Mansell's long-term commitment."

Mansell's three-year contract in the category has also fuelled speculation that there may be a British round of the series - something that the organisers have admitted may be possible.

"British fuelled Mansell-mania is something everyone in motorsport would relish and if viable, a British round is very possible indeed," said Sidhu. "Nigel is certainly a very passionate advocate for this to happen. A 2006 season calendar announcement will be made in due course." "

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