Sporting Digest: Motor Racing

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BERNIE ECCLESTONE, the president of the Formula One Constructors' Association said in an interview in yesterday's Adelaide Sunday Mail that he handed the right to stage the Australian Grand Prix to Melbourne from 1997 because he wanted the race to stay in Australia. The Adollars 60m ( pounds 28m) deal to wrest the event from Adelaide, who have hosted the race since 1985, was signed on 16 September, but only made public on Friday. Doubts about the future of the race in Adelaide were heightened earlier this month when the Melbourne-based Foster's Brewing Group decided to withdraw its sponsorship, worth about Adollars 2m a year.