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Bruton Smith dismisses USGP 'threat'

NASCAR circuit owner Bruton Smith has ridiculed the chance of F1's return in Austin hitting ticket sales at Texas Motor Speedway.
Texas Motor Speedway owner Bruton Smith has dismissed F1's chances of creating an event to rival those at his facility, despite promising predictions for the inaugural US Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas.

The first race at the all-new Austin venue takes place in two weeks' time but, amid encouraging ticket sales and a rising buzz in the Texas state capital, Smith insists that he has no concerns about F1 impacting on either the NASCAR or IndyCar events at his oval.

"We've checked and about ten people we know are going to it, so I'm not really concerned," a disparaging Smith told ESPN, "F1 never had done anything in this country. It never has worked. They had one race in Phoenix a few years ago, and there was an ostrich race that drew more people!"

While TMS president Eddie Gossage confirms the story, he is far more reasonable when it comes to comparing the impact that F1 may have on events at the high-banked oval. While F1 has struggled to find a permanent home in the USA - moving from Las Vegas via Detroit, Dallas and Phoenix to Indianapolis before switching to the purpose-built $300m road course at Circuit of the Americas after a five-year break - Gossage is aware that the two Texas venues play to different audiences.

"They are going to have a great crowd down there,'' he noted, "It looks like a beautiful circuit, and we know their ticket sales - they've done very well. Personally, I feel the more racing in Texas the better, but we don't have much crossover.

"It'll be great this year, but the challenge will be to maintain that in year two and year three , which is where F1 has struggled in the past. They had great crowds the few couple of years at Indianapolis, but couldn't sustain it."

CotA organisers claim to have sold every grandstand seat for the 16 November race, putting the estimated crowd at more than 70,000, while the circuit has attracted rave reviews from talents as diverse as Mario Andretti and Jerome d'Ambrosio, who both got to sample the 3.4-mile layout at its launch last month.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Scott Dixon beats Helio Castroneves to the line under yellow in Texas   [pic credit: image.net]
Texas Motor Speedway   [pic credit: image.net]
Aerial view of the Circuit of the Americas
Members of the invitation-only `First Lap Ceremony` pose on the main straight at the Circuit of the Americas
26.03.2017 - Circuit atmosphere
26.03.2017 - Circuit atmosphere
26.03.2017 - Circuit atmosphere
26.03.2017 - Circuit atmosphere
25.03.2017 - Circuit atmosphere
25.03.2017 - Circuit atmosphere
25.03.2017 - Qualifying, Circuit Atmosphere
24.03.2017 - Free Practice 1, Circuit atmosphere
24.03.2017 - Free Practice 1, Circuit atmosphere
Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-17 off the circuit.
Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 stops on the circuit.
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren returns to the pits after stopping on the circuit.
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing stopped on the circuit.
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13 stopped on the circuit.

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F1 Lover - Unregistered

November 04, 2012 9:39 AM

That comment just proves hes an F1 hater and is hoping F1 will not succeed. Someone tell him that cars going in circles all day long is no where close in excitment to F1.


November 04, 2012 10:35 AM

Maybe F1 will work this time and maybe it will not. Regardless, disparaging comments such as these concerning another series, are in very bad form and reveal more about Bruton Smith than the future of F1 in America. The man is an ass.

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