Switzerland lifts motor racing ban
Fifty years on

Jun.6 (GMM) Switzerland has finally lifted a more than fifty-year ban on organising motor racing events such as formula one.

A photograph in the country's national newspaper Blick showed politicians celebrating the occasion by spraying each other with champagne.

The ban fell back in 1955, after more than 80 spectators died in an horror crash at Le Mans.

But in parliament this week, it was lifted when 97 votes defeated 77, with politicians arguing that motor racing would be of benefit to Swiss car component manufacturers and tourism.

Those opposed said motor racing was damaging to the environment and would promote hooligan driving on the roads.

The news, however, instantly sparked speculation of a return of the Swiss grand prix; a formula one event that was last held at the Bremgarten circuit and won by Juan Manual Fangio in 1954.

"But where are we going to build this apparent circuit?," a sceptical Beat Zehnder, BMW-Sauber's team manager, wondered in Montreal.

"Talking about a grand prix is, I think, simply unrealistic," he added, explaining that Switzerland can probably not compete with big-spending countries like Abu Dhabi and South Korea for a spot on the calendar.


Written: Wed, 06 Jun 2007 09:17:00

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