The United States Grand Prix at the new Circuit of the Americas venue has been given a boost after securing the official endorsement of the Austin city council.

After three weeks of discussions, council members voted in favour of endorsing the race having worked closely with circuit bosses to create an environmental agreement which the venue claims is 'unprecedented for a world-class sports venue'.

Official endorsement of the circuit comes despite some local councillors being against the plans because of feelings that the funding being set aside for the project could have been used elsewhere.

"We appreciate the Council's approval of the endorsement," said Steve Sexton, president of Circuit of The Americas. "Austin is a unique community and the environmental provisions we worked together to craft with Council demonstrate our commitment to produce an event aligned with the values and vision of the City.

"This is a major step toward our vision of bringing the world to Austin to enjoy one of the most spectacular international events in sports. This partnership sets a new standard that every new sports or entertainment venue around the world can emulate."

Race organisers and a group of community environmentalists have devised a
54-point plan to position Circuit of The Americas as the 'greenest' sporting facility in the Americas. The plan includes elements ranging from offsite transportation options and dedicated bicycle lane access to incorporation of a community garden area, water-conservation measures, and the planting of over 800 trees. In addition, the venue will promote and host alternative vehicle races.

"This project shouldn't just be about fast cars," Austin City council member Chris Riley said. "The project offers opportunities to bring our local sustainability efforts to a worldwide stage. Over 500 million people in over one hundred countries watch F1. Austin 's version of the event should convey our commitment to clean technology research and development, and should inspire people across the planet to think green.

"The opportunities here involve both the race itself and the technologies associated with the race. I'm excited to announce today that the U.S. Grand Prix will be carbon neutral and the Local Organizing Committee will support the establishment of a clean tech research and development centre. This investment will harness the innovative spirit of F1 racing to strengthen Austin 's position as a leader in the 21st century green economy."