Formula 1 escapes to New York in 2013
25 October, 2011
Oct.24 (Reuters) Formula One will unveil a New Jersey Grand Prix for the 2013 season, the mayor of West New York told Reuters on Monday.
F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone has long hoped to bring the world’s most lucrative motor sports championship to the New York City area and that will be realized as a deal was reached with a consortium of investors and city and state governments.
New Jersey governor Chris Christie will announce the deal at a press conference in Weehawken, New Jersey, on Tuesday.
“This is going to be an economic boom for this whole region. While political and public servants talk about creating jobs, the governor has put the pedal to the metal and delivered,” West New York mayor Felix Roque told Reuters.
“This is the top of the line in motor racing, it’s incredible.”
The race will run along the Hudson River in Weehawken and West New York, according to Joe DeMarco, an attorney with West New York.
“It will provide a very challenging course – they compare it to Spa in Belgium, but will have the feel of Monaco,” said DeMarco, who added that the race will take place on a four-lane highway, two lanes in each direction.
The proposed course should offer easy access to New York city residents and visitors staying in central hotels.
DeMarco said that it was hoped the event would become a long-term part of the global F1 calendar.
“It has been contemplated to at least run for ten years but there are options and so on depending on the success of it,” said DeMarco. “Hopefully it will be a long term event, embraced by residents and the community.”
The U.S. returns to the Formula One calendar next year with a stop in Austin, Texas, but the New Jersey race will provide a cost-effective way to twin the event with the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.
F1 had previously held races in the state of New York at the track at Watkins Glen in Schuyler County, some 250 miles from New York City.
Watkins Glen International held the United States Grand Prix from 1961 to 1980 while F1 races have also been held at Long Beach in California, Las Vegas, Detroit, Dallas, Phoenix and Indianapolis.
The last F1 race in the U.S. was held at Indianapolis in 2007 and was won by British McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton.