BREAKING: Formula One coming to Austin, Texas in 2012
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    Post BREAKING: Formula One coming to Austin, Texas in 2012

    After a three-year hiatus, Formula One is coming back to the states in 2012 and the city that's been chosen to host the World Cup of Motorsports? Austin, Texas. Yes, Austin.

    According to the release from F1, the race will be held in the city from 2012 to 2021, and since Austin doesn't have a race track, a facility will be purpose-built to host the events.

    Press Release:

    Formula One returns to the United States
    Austin, Texas, from the east. The Austin skyline by night, Texas. Austin hill country, Texas. The Austin skyline by day, Texas.

    Formula One World Championship Limited and Formula One Administration Limited (together, the F1 Commercial Rights Holder) and Full Throttle Productions, LP, promoter of the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™, announce that a historic agreement has been reached for Austin, Texas to serve as the host city of the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™ for years 2012 through 2021.

    "We are extremely honoured and proud to reach an agreement with the F1 Commercial Rights Holder. We have been diligently working together for several years to bring this great event to Austin, the State of Texas and back to the United States. All parties involved have a great amount of trust and confidence in each other and are committed to establishing the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™ in Austin, Texas as a prestigious global event," stated Tavo Hellmund, Managing Partner of Full Throttle Productions, LP.

    Bernie Ecclestone, President and CEO of the Formula One Group stated: "For the first time in the history of Formula One in the United States, a world-class facility will be purpose-built to host the event. It was thirty years ago that the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™ was last held on a purpose-built permanent road course circuit in Watkins Glen, NY (1961-1980), which enjoyed great success. Since then, Formula One has been hosted by Long Beach, Las Vegas, Detroit, Dallas and Phoenix all on temporary street circuits. Indianapolis joined the ranks of host cities in 2000 when they added a road course inside the famed oval. Lewis Hamilton won the last Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™ in 2007, signalling the end to eight years at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This however, will be the first time a facility is constructed from the ground up specifically for Formula One in the US."

    Mr. Hellmund added: "This is a case of the right timing in the right place. As many Americans know, Austin has earned a reputation as one of the 'it' cities in the United States. Austin features that rare combination of ideal geographic location and beauty. Its fine dining, world-renowned hospitality and excellent transportation infrastructure make Austin ideally suited to host and manage an event of this magnitude. Few cities if any in America could rival the connectivity of all the key elements needed for hosting a Formula 1 event as well as Austin. Now, many people around the world will have the opportunity to experience a world-class event, facility and city."

    "We are pleased Texas has the opportunity to be involved with Formula 1 and that an event of this magnitude is coming to Austin," said Susan Combs, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. "It has been a pleasure working with Full Throttle Productions, LP and Mr. Hellmund on this project. Their tradition of producing successful major events coupled with a thirty year relationship with Mr. Ecclestone has us looking forward to this worldwide event and the benefits it will bring, including local job creation, increased tourism and a significant economic impact added to our state economy. The visibility and prestige of this event will spotlight our state on an international stage."

    Texas Governor Rick Perry conveyed his enthusiasm for the project, explaining "Texas' relatively strong economy continues to draw both national and international attention and I commend Comptroller Combs for her work in bringing this exciting event to the Lone Star State."

    City of Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell continued the positive sentiments, adding "The City of Austin will be proud to host this magnificent event and I look forward to welcoming the participants and fans of Formula One to our City."

    Full Throttle Productions, LP acknowledges with great appreciation the efforts of all parties involved including Bernie Ecclestone, President and CEO of the Formula One Group, and the local and state officials of Texas.

    Read More: autoblog.com/2010/05/25/breaking-formula-one-coming-to-austin-texas-in-2012/

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    Hammerdown Mod of Thunder josnroh's Avatar
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    Wow,that is fantastic.
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    The mayor's statement is encouraging.
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    I'm excited about this! I haven't been to an F1 race in person since the last Indy race.
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    Not Asian Ying's Avatar
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    I think I may make a vacation out of this. Glad they're trying it again in the States.

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    Maybe this could evolve into a ClubWRX National Meetup.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayfieldsWRX View Post
    Maybe this could evolve into a ClubWRX National Meetup.
    too far south mate plus i think pikes peak is more exciting
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    New United States Grand Prix promoter Tavo Hellmund says he does not yet have a site on which to construct the circuit but that he is looking at three possible locations in Austin, Texas.

    With the inaugural race likely to take place in a little more than 24 months’ time--in June 2012, as part of a double-header with the Canadian Grand Prix--Hellmund and his Full Throttle Productions company face an extremely tight deadline. They will have to choose and purchase the land and get planning approval even before they can start construction.

    Speaking to the Austin American-Statesman newspaper, Hellmund said he had been talking to Bernie Ecclestone since 1999--even before the first Formula One race at Indianapolis--and had begun serious discussions four years ago. He said the bid process alone cost $1 million.

    “I got 18,000 e-mails in three minutes,” Hellmund said of the announcement. “Austin is more of an F1 crowd than a NASCAR crowd. The geography, the tech money, the nightlife, the music--it all just fits with what Formula One is all about.”

    Democratic state Sen. Kirk Watson told the newspaper, “The economic impact is said to be almost as big as a Super Bowl, and that’s every year.”

    The state has a Texas Major Events Trust Fund which is intended to reimburse cities for costs they face when hosting big sporting events. Intriguingly, Watson was responsible for recently adding F1 to the list of eligible events in a recent bill.

    The newspaper summed up the local response like this: “The announcement stunned many in the Texas auto-racing community and surprised and delighted some political leaders, but it left others wondering about significant details--including where a track would be built, who would build it, how much it would cost, who would pay for it and why would an Austin project succeed where others haven’t?”

    Meanwhile, the Austin Business Journal underlined the mystery attached to the project: “City of Austin and Austin Chamber of Commerce officials were unfamiliar with race organizers’ plans and do not appear to have been deeply involved in the deal, according to city and chamber sources. Although [Austin] Mayor Lee Leffingwell was cited in the news release on the Formula 1 Web site, a staffer said the mayor was not informed prior to the announcement.”

    Eddie Gossage of Texas Motor Speedway added a note of caution, saying that his facility cost $250 million to construct back in 1996.
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    Veteran Formula One circuit designer Herrman Tilke will be responsible for the Austin F1 track, promoter Tavo Hellmund said on Wednesday night.

    Hellmund also said the project is much further along than has been assumed.

    “This has been long in the works,” he told AutoWeek. “Everything is in place.”

    Although the former racer told local media on Tuesday that three possible venues were still under consideration, that suggestion apparently was a smokescreen.

    While several alternatives were under consideration, Hellmund said one site was settled on some time ago and the land--more than 800 acres--has been purchased. Additionally, initial permissions for amenities such as water and waste, which are usually time-consuming affairs, have been granted.

    Although Hellmund has yet to divulge details, he said that the site is to the east of Austin, a few miles from the airport, apparently in hilly countryside that has provided Tilke with a good starting point for a design.

    The German architect is charged with creating a fast circuit with challenging corners that resemble those of classic, established tracks such as Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps.

    Tilke first sent a representative of his company to Austin about two years ago and allegedly has made many personal visits since. He is looking for office space in the city from which to base the project.

    Hellmund was adamant that Austin is an ideal location.

    “Other than New York or L.A., which already have 10 million people, where are you going to find a place that within a 150-mile radius you have three of the top-10 largest markets in the United States? That is the wonderful thing. Our position between Canada and the United States, North, South and Central America, is unbelievable.

    “You take that into account, you take into account the draw that Austin is--it's the state capital, it's in the hill country, it's got a huge, huge vibe and tag of being the coolest place.”

    As reported previously, the race is set to benefit from the Texas Major Events Trust Fund, which is intended to reimburse cities for costs they face when hosting big sporting events.

    However, that relates only to specific events and does not have an impact on the cost of building the facility, budgeted at $200 million. The track project is financed by unknown private investors, Hellmund said.

    One of the key elements that helped generate funding is that, aside from F1, the circuit will be used to help develop alternative fuels.

    Hellmund said he has known F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone since he was a teenager. His father was involved in promoting Indy-car and Trans-Am races in Mexico City and also helped to bring F1 back to the country in 1988. Hellmund's father also was involved in the 1986 World Cup of soccer and in organizing music events.
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