Formula 1 Set to Race in Great State of New Jersey, Summer 2013

Here is the article from the Daily Mail about Formula 1’s event schedule for summer 2013 in the great state of New Jersey.

Formula One is set to light up the East Coast of the U.S. for the next 10 years – with a spectacular road race course which is already being compared to the Monte Carlo Grand Prix.

Race boss Bernie Ecclestone is today expected to sign a deal for the world’s top drivers to speed along the streets of New Jersey’s Hudson shoreline – with the Manhattan skyline as a stunning backdrop – for the next decade.

It will be the realisation of Ecclestone’s dream to bring the race to New York – something he has tried, and failed to do, several times since the 1970s.

But event safety will be under the spotlight following the recent death of British driver Dan Wheldon in the Las Vegas IndyCar season finale.

The June 2013 event, dubbed the Grand Prix of America, is expected to start at JFK Boulevard East in Weehawken – just across the Hudson River from Midtown Manhattan.

The 200mph cars will then head north, turn right in West New York, on a level with Central Park, and head back south of River Road to the finish line back in Weehawken.

West New York attorney Jose DeMarco said: ‘It will provide a very challenging course. They compare it to Spa in Belgium. But it will have the feel of Monte Carlo.’

The U.S. has not hosted a Formula One race since 2007 in Indianapolis, which was won by Lewis Hamilton.

The event’s eight-year run came to an end when Ecclestone failed to agree new terms with the circuit’s owners.

But the body has also recently signed a deal to run an annual race on a new $250million track in Austin, Texas, starting in 2012.

‘UNEASY RELATIONSHIP’

Formula One has endured an uneasy relationship with America.

The sport has failed to firmly anchor itself state-side since ending a 20-year association with Watkins Glen at the start of the 1980s.

Races at Long Beach, Las Vegas, Detroit, Dallas and Phoenix have all failed to become permanent fixtures on the calendar.

A move to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 2000 season turned sour five years later when fears over tyre safety famously resulted in just six cars starting that year’s race.

The 2005 debacle caused a rift with many American fans from which the sport never fully recovered, and F1 departed the US scene two years later

And it is part of his quest to strengthen Formula One’s roots in the U.S., where its popularity comes a distant third to NASCAR and IndyCar.

But with IndyCar seemingly in decline, which started with its split from CART in 1994 and has seen dwindling viewing figures and raceday fan numbers in the past 10 years, it could be the perfect time for Formula One to expand into America and take on NASCAR.

And although Formula One’s safety record, and security checks, are widely recognised as better than its American rivals, it is a subject which will inevitably be scrutinised following the death of British driver Dan Wheldon in Las Vegas earlier this month.

Wheldon was killed in a 15-car pile-up. IndyCar came under fire as the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner had been enticed to begin the race from the rear of the grid, to entitle him to a share of a £3million bonus if he won.

Following the crash, and speaking before last week’s Indian Grand Prix, Ecclestone said: ‘In Formula One we do everything possible to secure the safety of the drivers and the spectators.

‘We would never have let that race take place in Las Vegas last week. With 34 cars racing on a 1.5-mile oval track, they were heading for disaster.’

Formula One’s arrival in New Jersey has been welcomed by officials hoping it will bring a significant economic and tourism boom to the state.
New Jersey governor Chris Christie said: ‘It’s incredible. This is going to be an economic boom for this whole region.’

And West New York Mayor Felix Roque added: ‘This is the top of the line in motor racing. It’s incredible. This is going to be an economic boom for this whole region.’

GRAND PRIX OF AMERICA

The race is expected to start at JFK Boulevard East in Weehawken – just across the Hudson River from Midtown Manhattan.

The 200mph cars will then head north, turn right in West New York – on a level with Central Park – and head back south of River Road to the finish line back in Weehawken.

It has been compared to the Monaco Grand Prix, where drivers career around the streets of Monte Carlo in what is one of Formula One’s most watched, most glamorous and most exciting events.

‘While political and public servants talk about creating jobs, the governor has put the pedal to the metal and delivered.’

The area is not foreign to motorsports, though it has been for a while. The Meadowlands Grand Prix was a CART IndyCar race held in East Rutherford from 1984-1991.

It was the first major race in the New York City metropolitan area since 1937, and the course twisted and turned around the original Giants Stadium.

The location would also offer fans and tourists easy accessibility to New York City lodging, restaurants and nightlife, though they could also easily stay in Hudson County.

Formula One currently has a 19-event calendar with events in Monte Carlo, Shanghai and Sao Paulo, among others.

The last Formula One drivers to be killed during competition were Roland Ratzenberger and three-times world champion Ayrton Senna, who died on the same weekend at Imola, San Marino, in 1994.

A press conference, where the event is expected to be launched, will be held today at 2pm EST in Weehawken, New Jersey.

blog comments powered by Disqus