Long Beach bosses deny grand prix reports

Pole sitter and race winner Gilles Villeneuve (CDN) Ferrari 312T4. United States Grand Prix West, Rd 4, Long Beach, California, USA, 8 April 1979.

1979 United States Grand Prix West winner Gilles Villeneuve driving the Ferrari 312T4 at Long Beach

Bosses of the iconic Long Beach street circuit have denied reports that Formula 1 is interested in adding the venue to its annual season calendar.

Reports this month said that with Indycar’s contract expiring, Bernie Ecclestone and Formula 1 sponsor agency chief Zak Brown have expressed interest in snapping up the California event.

These days, former McLaren driver Michael Andretti promotes some Indycar races and he observed: “Why would they sell it?”

He was referring to Long Beach race owners Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerald Forsythe.

The president and CEO of the race, Jim Michaelian, said: “This is a story that keeps bouncing around every year or so, despite the fact that the race isn’t for sale and there’s been no contact between anyone and Kevin about a sale.

“Nothing is happening,” he told the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

“To keep speculating, playing this ‘what if’ game, just encourages more rumours that don’t amount to anything,” he added.

Earlier, Kalkhoven had said he would only consider selling Long Beach if “stupid money” was being proposed.

“Gerry and I are not interested in selling Long Beach,” he added. (GMM)