Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC) chairman Ron Walker has dashed to Abu Dhabi as a dispute threatens to race Melbourne off the 2011 calendar.
He said the country’s official motor racing body, the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS), is demanding $800,000 in fees to sanction the Albert Park event.
If the AGPC does not pay, CAMS is threatening to recommend to the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council that Australia be deleted from next year’s schedule, said Walker.
He said the situation follows the state Victorian government’s request that the organisation of the event be put to tender due to CAMS being “a monopoly”.
“We will not sign a new contract with CAMS unless they modernise their management and reduce their prices,” Walker is quoted by the AAP news agency.
He has travelled to Abu Dhabi for emergency talks with Bernie Ecclestone, who has said CAMS could be retained as the sanctioning body while another organiser – for example the organiser of the British grand prix – is appointed to run the 2011 race.
But CAMS “have said ‘you (must) re-hire us on our terms or we will apply to the FIA to have you removed from the calendar’,” Walker revealed.
© RIF | GMM