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Carmaker consortium revives plan for rival series

10/26/2004

LONDON -- Four top carmakers plan to split from Formula One
and launch a rival open-wheel Grand Prix racing series by 2008.

The group -- which includes BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Ferrari and
Renault, and is known collectively as the Grand Prix World
Championship consortium -- made the announcement Tuesday. They had
been seeking a bigger share of F1's revenues and said the new
series will "maintain the strengths of Formula One, while
eliminating its weaknesses."

GPWC was formed in 2001 and has been pushing since then for a
bigger share of F1's estimated annual income of $810 million.

The carmakers previously had threatened to establish a rival
series starting in 2007, then called off the plans after a
preliminary deal was reached with F1's commercial arm in December
2003.

However, GPWC accused the F1 agency of failing to comply with the
terms of the agreement. The group broke off talks in April and
resumed plans for its own circuit.

"We have been more than patient with the current management and
governance of Formula One, but recent developments have underlined
the need for a structure that guarantees a stable and prosperous
future of the sport," GPWC chairman Joergen Hubbert said.

Ford, which is dropping out of F1, was part of GPWC
before passing on its shareholding to the other four carmakers.