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GP Week : Issue 184
2 F1 >>> nEWs The stalled Grand Prix of America, which will be run around the streets of New Jersey, is finally set to go ahead next year with race organizers claiming they have signed a fifteen-year deal with the sport’s commercial rights holder Bernie ecclestone. The race, to be run around a 3.2 -mile street circuit with the Manhattan skyline as its backdrop, will join Austin, Texas and become the second American race on the calendar. The New Jersey grand prix was originally scheduled for a 2013 debut, but ran into trouble after Ecclestone binned the contract to host the race as the organizers had failed to comply with the terms. The race was later postponed till 2014 as organizers did not have enough time to get the infrastructure ready in time for the original proposed date. But the project has regained momentum in recent months, with the organizers bolstering their management team. Chris Pook, the man behind the hugely popular Long Beach race, has joined as an adviser, while more recently Marty Hunt has moved on from his role as director of facilities at the Circuit of the Americas to director of race operations in New Jersey. Ecclestone is keen for Formula One to take root in the United States, a potentially lucrative market for the sport but one where it hasn’t had much success winning over fans in the face of stiff competition from the local NASCAR and IndyCar series. In fact, the 82-year-old, who built the sport from a weekend hobby for the garagistes followed only by motor-racing enthusiasts into a global racing spectacle generating billions in revenue, ploughed some of his own money into the race and said he would be willing to buy the race promoter if that is what it took to push start the grand prix with the billion-dollar backdrop. But New Jersey has also run into scheduling difficulties with the original date clashing with Formula One broadcaster NBC’s Fathers’ Day golf coverage. “Bernie was 100 percent correct in that we hadn’t satisfied his demands and we didn’t have a binding contract in place, and he had every right to question our ability to get it done,” promoter Leo Hindery Jr., who was at the Canadian Grand Prix along with a delegation representing the New Jersey race, told New Jersey newspaper the Star-Ledger. “We're going to go racing sometime in June 2014, when Bernie Ecclestone and NBC Sports tell me to.” JERSEY? SURE. 2. 9 GPWEEK.com // 9 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: