Motor Sport: Australia faces loss of GP

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The Independent Online
THE French Grand Prix having already gone up in smoke, it now seems that Australia could be next in line to lose its Formula One race if the government Down Under goes ahead with plans to ban tobacco-industry sponsorship of sporting events.

The announcement follows Thursday's news that Fisa, the governing body of motor sport, had voted to remove next year's French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours from the world championship calendar because of stringent anti-smoking laws in France.

The Australian government proposes to ban all tobacco advertising and sponsorship from 1995, but has invited events of 'international significance' to seek exemptions.

Meanwhile, motorcycling has lost next year's French Grand Prix because of the tough anti-tobacco laws. Jean-Pierre Mougins, president of the sport's governing body in France, said the race at Le Castellet, scheduled for 18 July, would be scrapped shortly.

Rallying has also been affected by the French legislation. This, combined with the recession, has meant that the number of competitors entering the Paris-Dakar rally, which begins on 1 January, has been cut by more than half.