The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is optimistic of retaining its place on an ever-changing Formula One calendar following talks between circuit CEO Tony George and Bernie Ecclestone.

Although the 2005 farce threatened to drive a wedge between the two, last year's grand prix went some way to salvaging the relationship, to the point where talks are now being held to discuss a 'long-term' place for the Brickyard on the schedule, with IMS president and COO Joie Chitwood claiming that both parties are working toward an agreement for 2008 and beyond.

"Tony has stressed to Bernie in these meetings that we want to continue the event, and we believe he feels the same," Chitwood said, "With eight years experience with the USGP, both Tony and Bernie know what the challenges are. They are exploring ways to get to a long-term agreement, and we expect to make an announcement no later than 12 July. If we are going to have a USGP in 2008, we know that we need to make the announcement and start working on the event by the second week of July."

Chitwood added that he continues to be optimistic about the future of the event, despite recent revelations that the row about reimbursement for 2005 continued to rumble on.

"With the Indianapolis 500, we annually present the world's largest sporting event and also play host to the largest-attended NASCAR race with the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard," he said, "We just need to continue to work with the Formula One community and find the right business model to make this event successful for all involved. That is our goal."



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