[QODLink]
Formula One
Open day cancelled by Canadian GP organisers
Following threats made by the public, officials of the Canadian GP cancel free access day in Montreal.
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2012 13:13
McLaren driver Jenson Button won the wet and disrupted 2011 Canadian GP in dramatic style [GETTY]


Canadian Grand Prix organisers have cancelled a free access day for spectators at the Montreal Formula One circuit due to fears that student protesters may try and disrupt the event.

A statement on the official grand prix website said there would be no Thursday 'Open Doors' day, an important and popular part of the build-up to Sunday's race.

"Following a serious examination of the situation, made necessary by public disruption threats and the difficulty to measure their precise validity, the organisers came to the conclusion that it is necessary to restrain the access to Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve and precisely the F1 pit lane," it said.

"Considering the various disruption threats made public recently, the free admission and the naturally open character of the 'Open Doors' day revealed some risks that we could not neglect"

Race President Francois Dumontier

Francois Dumontier, president of the race, said the risks could not be ignored.

"One of our primary obligations is to ensure the comfort and the security of the participants and the spectators, something we will do as we open the turnstiles Friday morning, and again during the whole weekend," he said.

"Considering the various disruption threats made public recently, the free admission and the naturally open character of the 'Open Doors' day revealed some risks that we could not neglect.

"Under these circumstances, cancelling the 'Open Doors' day was the only action we could take."

The sometimes violent student strike began in mid-February after the Quebec provincial government announced plans to raise tuition fees.

Tourism is a major source of revenues for Montreal and the race attracted some 300,000 people last year according to the local tourism authority.

309

Source:
Reuters
Topics in this article
People
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Despite 14-year struggle for a new mosque in the second-largest city, new roadblocks are erected at every turn.
Authorities and demonstrators have shown no inclination to yield despite growing economic damage and protest pressure.
Lebanese-born Rula Ghani may take cues from the modernising Queen Soraya, but she'll have to proceed with caution.
One of the world's last hunter-gatherer tribes has been forced from the forest it called home by a major dam project.
Chinese authorities scramble to cut off information on Hong Kong protests from reaching the mainland.