Circuit layout for Grand Prix of AmericaEnlarge Photo
Even as Circuit of the Americas tries to get its Austin, Texas racetrack built in time for November's inaugural Formula One race, there is now some discussion over whether the second US Grand Prix, a proposed east coast race in New Jersey with Manhattan's New York skyscrapers as backdrop, will even occur.
Getting an F1 race in the USA has been a difficult proposal. Even with excellent crowds at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Formula One's holding company led by Bernie Ecclestone was never satisfied. Of course the 2005 "tire-gate" problems with tire wear after the track had been resurfaced didn't help IMS' cause with F1 and, after 2007 the race disappeared.
Now Ecclestone is being a bit on the coy side concerning the New Jersey race, scheduled for a ten-year run starting in 2013, according to a partnership agreement signed late last year.
"Maybe the New York race will be in 2013," he told BBC. "It's a when, 2013 or 2014."
The objective all along has been to pair the New Jersey/New York race with the Canadian Grand Prix in June, having them on successive weekends that would give the USA two race weekends with Austin in November.
This is the first time any doubts have been raised about this much-anticipated Grand Prix of America event in New Jersey, even as construction continues unabated in anticipation of the new race.
The Texas contest has been a troubled event right from the start, with spats between the promoters, trouble with construction and other setbacks. At this time the track still hasn't been laid in asphalt and the contest is just about six months out.
According to njbiz.com, the organizers in New Jersey are on schedule with garages and pits under construction, along with track engineeering that includes pavement and course testing of the 3.2-mile circuit.
"There's nothing to it," spokesman Stephen Sigmund said of Ecclestone's comments. "The race is on as scheduled for 2013." The circuit is a waterfront race course in West New York and Weehawken, in the Port Imperial development owned by Roseland Property Co. "As the primary land owner for the race site," said Carl Goldberg, managing partner of Roseland, "we continue to plan and prepare for a June 2013 race."The New Jersey street circuit has backing from the state and its governor, Chris Christie. There have been no detrimental discussions concerning this race, which makes Ecclestone's comments even more perplexing, particularly since F1's commercial impresario has long desired a race within earshot of the New York City metropolis.