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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 October, 2004, 08:49 GMT 09:49 UK
Australia opposes breakaway
Chairman of the Australian Grand Prix Ron Walker
The head of the Australian Grand Prix insists the Melbourne track will not stage any races planned by organisers of a breakaway championship.

GPWC Holdings aims to create a rival series by 2008 but Australian GP chairman Ron Walker is staying loyal to Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

"We will not be going along with GPWC," said Walker. "We will be continuing our relationship with Mr Ecclestone.

"Frankly, I can't see this scheme getting off the ground."

GPWC Holdings is comprised of leading manufacturers BMW, Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault.

I think there is a conspiracy between the manufacturers and the banks
Australian GP chairman
Ron Walker
The group is unhappy with the way revenue generated by the sport is divided up.

Under the terms of the secret Concorde agreement, which expires in 2007, teams receive a share of the commercial rights.

GPWC is understood to be offering teams a significantly increased share in profits of around 80%.

But Walker believes the GPWC's threats are simply part of a longstanding dispute between Ecclestone, the three German banks who hold the largest stake in F1 and the teams.

"I think there is a conspiracy between the manufacturers and the banks," said Walker.

"They want to try and force Ecclestone to do things that he doesn't want to do.

"This is probably a game of cards at the moment that is intensifying."

The GPWC has appointed George Taylor, from marketing firm International Sports and Entertainment AG, to get the wheels in motion for a rival series.

One of his first tasks is to find potential venues to stage the races.

The Melbourne circuit traditionally hosts the opening Grand Prix race of the season.

Australia is contracted to F1 until 2010 with a further five-year option.





SEE ALSO
F1 revolt threat returns
23 Apr 04 |  Formula One
Mosley demands more cuts
26 Oct 04 |  Formula One
Team deal could help British GP
24 Oct 04 |  Formula One


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