Ecclestone unsure about London GP funding

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Bernie Ecclestone is unsure whether or not a grand prix in the centre of London is going to happen in the future, but was pleased with yesterday’s news concerning a possible event.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed yesterday that new parliament legislation would allow more road racing to take place, opening up the possibility of a London Grand Prix that would incorporate landmarks such as Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace.

Despite being a supporter of the event, Ecclestone made no secret of his concerns when speaking to Press Association.

“It just depends on what we can come up with commercially because how are we going to fund it?” he questioned.

“The news is good, but I don’t know whether you’d have street racing because it’s not cheap to put on something that’s safe. Street racing is expensive.

“But if they ever get it together then we’ll see what happens. At least it’s a good sign, a step in the right direction.”

Most grands prix are funded either by private investors or the nation’s government. The Singapore Grand Prix has been a huge success for the country’s tourist industry, and it might be possible for the British government to get involved and reap the rewards of its capital hosting a grand prix. With two major airports and great travel links, it could bring hundreds of thousands of fans to the city for the race weekend.

However, as Ecclestone said, there is a very long way to go before the race could go ahead. Nevertheless, it is certainly a lucrative and interesting proposition for the sport and the city of London.

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

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Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”