Masters Launched with Arnoux Laps

Former Formula One driver Rene Arnoux gave the Grand Prix Masters an opening run on Friday, with a series of demonstration laps in the prototype Zytek car at the Durban Motor Show in South Africa

A temporary circuit was erected around the city's Exhibition Centre, enabling a crowd of 10,000 to watch the runs.

"It was very bumpy, and with the crowds so close to the road, I had to take it easy," the Frenchman, winner of four Formula One Grands Prix with Renault and three with Ferrari,  told Autosport-Atlas.

"But I think it is a fantastic concept, and I am really looking forward to the series. Already Alan Jones has complained that he is too heavy and I am too light..."

Only 1972/74 and 1980 World Champions Emerson Fittipaldi and Jones, as well as Arnoux, were present at the launch of the series, which draws heavily on the Masters concepts of other sports.

GPM, brainchild of Scott Poulter, kicks off with a demonstration race at Kyalami in November, with rounds in the UK, Italy, Middle East, North America, Spain and South Africa, scheduled for 2006.

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