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Miami and Fontana axed

The Open Wheel Racing Series will scale back the number of races on next year's calendar. The new owners have confirmed that there won't be events at Fontana or Miami, while the series will likely start at Long Beach

"We are not purchasing the assets of the Miami race," said Paul Gentilozzi, one of the OWRS principals. "We love Miami, but we've made a business decision. And we've not purchased the contract for the Fontana race for 2004 either."

CART is still in dispute with the owners of Fontana over the cancellation of this year's race there, but the new owners have nothing to do with those assets. That may leave Milwaukee as the only oval race on a schedule that should begin with its showpiece event.



"I think it's safe to assume that we're going to open the year at Long Beach," said Gentilozzi. "It's a premier event, the Kentucky Derby of Grand Prix racing anywhere in the United States."

There will be a race in Las Vegas, but it's not yet certain whether that will be on the city's oval or the city's streets.

"We haven't committed yet. Sometimes it's difficult to get people to come out to the speedway. We are also investigating doing an event in conjunction with a major casino in a facility adjacent to the Strip."

St Petersburg's date is still uncertain, but the new owners definitely want to run the race.

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