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GP Week : Issue 217
F1 >>> BUsinEss By Christian sylt Bernie ecclestone has revealed that he is still some way off signing a second Formula One race in the united states. “No news on America at the moment. Long-term today is three months not three years,” he says. The most recent US city tipped to get a race is Las Vegas. Last year Ecclestone said that a street race in Vegas is “ready to go” and this was confirmed by news outlet Motorsport. com which revealed the involvement of “an investment and management group.” It soon came to light that the driving force behind the race plan is Farid Shidfar, founder of digital meeting service Rundavoo.com and pioneer of the Los Angeles media and entertainment practice at consultancy firm Accenture. This position brought him into contact with a number of show-business power-brokers including Steven Spielberg. In 1994 the Oscar-winning filmmaker founded the University of Southern California’s Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, a non-profit organization which records video testimonies of survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust. The year after it was established Mr Shidfar helped to develop software which enables the foundation’s 220 Terabyte digital library system to be accessed from multiple museums worldwide. Mr Shidfar spent 15 years as a senior executive at Accenture where he worked with the world’s biggest media and entertainment brands including Disney, MGM, Sony and Universal. He left in 2008 to take on private projects and began to build closer links to Vegas. The first of these was work on the launch of the brand for the city’s Cosmopolitan hotel and identification of strategic partnerships for it. The hotel opened in December 2010 and two years later Mr Shidfar founded Rundavoo, a digital service which streamlines the co-ordination of meetings as well as hotel, restaurant and event reservations. Mr Shidfar is understood to have been analysing the opportunity to bring F1 to Vegas since 2011 and boosted his efforts last year. On January 17 he founded the Nevada company P2M Motorsports Management LLC and confirmed that it is a “consortium bringing Formula 1 to the Las Vegas Strip.” This world-famous road runs through the centre of Vegas and is lined with some of the most renowned casino resorts including the Bellagio and Caesars Palace. The Vegas Grand Prix “would be on The Strip for sure,” said Ecclestone. A senior source in the United States racing scene added that F1’s track designer Hermann Tilke has visited Vegas several times to design the layout of the course which demonstrates that the project is at an advanced stage. “T ilke has made a couple of site visits. I knew that if he had gone along there must be something to it,” said the source. It is understood that Ecclestone handed Shidfar a contract for a Vegas Grand Prix so, as is often the case, if it does not get the green light it is probably down to money. EcclEstonE: no nEWs on sEcond us gp 34 GPWEEK.com // 34 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: