The shock news came after months of secret negotiations between the Federation Internationale de l`Automobile (FIA), the Formula One Constructors Association (FOCA) and the Walsall Motoring and Biking Club (WMBC) and as a result of the cancellation of the Bahrain Grand Prix. It is thought that WMBC approached F1 supremo Bernie Ecclescake with an offer to stage the prestigious event as soon as it was realised that a corrupt authority that harms its people was needed to secure sponsorship, advertising and television rights.
Mr Ecclescake said:
“F1 is above politics and it’s disappointing that a few people being shot and the doctors who treated them tortured and imprisoned should scare off the advertisers. Sport, especially F1 with millionaires racing around in fast cars is the only way to bring people together to sort out their differences. Is Walsall near Birmingham?”
The actual race circuit will be Walsall’s famous and much admired ring road, the A4148, which will be renamed the Nerdbirdring in honour of the Grand Prix. Other street names will be changed to avoid confusing television viewers.
The start/finish line will be at the centre of the Arboretum junction and the cars will speed off in the direction of the Leather Museum along the Tesco Straight. At Le Gendarmerie, and with the pit lane to the left leading to the Crown Wharf car park, the drivers will approach turn 1, a left into Pleck Road, or Crash and Burn as it now will be known. As part of the planning for the race, a large hospital with an A&E department will be placed close by for the drivers who fail to make the turn.
After a fast, meandering straight through the picturesque hamlet of Pleck, now renamed Rascasse, drivers will face the challenging Morrisons hairpin into Wallows Lane. Another long, fast straight through Fulbrook, Leckie and Club de Rugby leads to the tricky Hotel double chicane followed by another at Harvester. Then the long run to the finish through Arbo and Chuckery which will see cars screaming downhill at 200mph towards the finish line.
The Walsall Motoring and Biking Club are convinced that the circuit will provide fantastic racing and, hopefully, lots of entertaining accidents. Leader of WMBC, Mr Bike Merde said:
“This is a golden opportunity to showcase our wonderful ring road and bring loads of money into the town. We already have state of the art signs that warn drivers to wear their seatbelts, keep to the speed limit and not use their mobile phones. I am really looking forward to welcoming Fangio, Graham Hill, Sir Donald Campbell, George Michael and all the other top drivers to Walsall. Do you want to buy some souvenir cuff links?”
The deal that brings F1 to Walsall was struck with all sides having to make concessions. The FIA have agreed to five compulsory pit stops in the Crown Wharf pit lane. This will allow WMBC to collect £1.20 for every stop. If the pit stop is longer than five seconds, a further charge of 10p per nano second will be levied. Should a car break down, or hopefully crash, in a bus lane or on a red route, a charge will be made for its recovery. WMBC will also receive a proportion of the television rights in the form of a flat screen HD television awarded to every member of its executive committee.
In return, WMBC must improve the start/finish line as both the FIA and FOCA consider it too dangerous. Therefore, the Arboretum junction will be closed for three months prior to the race to allow remodelling so as to give drivers a clue as to which lane they should be in. Following the race, the junction will be closed for a further six months to re-instate the existing configuration. This work should cost WMBC no more than £200million.
Speaking via satellite from Valencia where he is on a fact finding mission to the European Grand Prix, Dr Merde of the WMBC said:
“This is money well spent and will regenerate Walsall. Supermarkets have had their day. The future is in internal combustion.”
Chief Circuit Marshall Tom Mitchells-Butlers, also in Valencia, added:
“We have massive stockpiles of grit and all the pot holes are fixed. At least that’s what somebody told me.”
Professor Merde will shortly return to Walsall to plan the motor sport extravaganza. As well as the feature Grand Prix, earlier races will include flat bed trucks loaded with scrap and blowing bugles, WM Travel buses against private bus companies, young men with more sound system than car, horses, carts and WMBC vans ignoring the designated circuit. Sir Bike Merde of the WMBC is confident that the event will be a success and said:
“Look, these are difficult times and we have to make difficult decisions. In these circumstances, bringing Formula 1 to Walsall is the only option. I keep saying this.”
On hearing of Lord Bike of Pheasey`s comments, top driver Jason Buttonhole said:
“Great. I love racing in Poland. The women are so attractive.”
Ticket prices to attend the two hour race start at £250, rising to £5000 for a standing position with a view of the circuit.