Grand Prix triathlon in lap of honour

19.03.40: THE FIRST-EVER Grand Prix World Championship has been dubbed 'the ultimate global triathlon'.

And, with an estimated worldwide audience in excess of 2.6 billion, it has become the greatest show on Earth.

After a hotly contested series, which at times threatened to collapse in the face of protracted and seemingly intractable negotiations over media rights and drivers' remuneration, the distinctive blood-red Boeing-Ferrari of Scotland's Tom Stewart Jr stormed home to take top honours.

The global success of the event means that top drivers in the 12 teams are able to demand tens of millions of eurodollars per race. In addition, they have some of the most lucrative sports sponsorship and product endorsement deals ever signed, making the Grand Prix World Championship easily the richest event in sporting history.

Taking in Europe, America, South Africa and Asia, 24 competitors race each other over land, underwater and then at high altitude in high-performance variants of the hydrogen-powered airborne aquacars that dominate the leisure market.

A natural development from the amalgamation of many of the leading names in the aerospace and automotive industries, the Grand Prix owes much of its popularity to a high element of danger. DL