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New Jersey set to host second US GP

22 October 2011

The F1 calendar is about to get a new United States Grand Prix on the schedule in 2013, with reports in this weekend's Wall Street Journal suggesting that a street race in New Jersey will be announced as early as Tuesday.

The Grand Prix, if confirmed, would be set against the backdrop of the Manhattan Island skyline across the Hudson River. It would be additional to - and not a replacement for - the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas at the purpose-built Circuit of the Americas which is due to make its own d├ębut on the F1 schedule in November 2012.

The first running of the New Jersey event is said to be provisionally pencilled in for June 2013 so that it would run back-to-back with the Canadian Grand Prix. The Austin event would be held later in the year because of the scorching summer temperatures in Texas, and would be aligned with the Brazilian Grand Prix in the calendar.

SPEED TV announced yesterday that they would be interrupting regularly scheduled programming on Tuesday, October 25 for "a special announcement regarding the future of F1 Grand Prix racing in the United States." The announcement is scheduled for 2pm local time, or 7pm BST.

The WSJ report, citing "two people familiar with the matter", added that the press conference will take place in Weehawken, a New Jersey township, at the Hudson River waterside Port Imperial, on Tuesday.

The two New Jersey townships of West New York and Weekhawken announced their interest in bringing F1 to the East Coast of America earlier this year, and in August the respective mayors issued a statement asserting that the event had secured private funding.

"In these uncertain economic times when every direct and indirect revenue source is vital, our own F1 race could be a very positive boost to our citizens," the joint statement read.

Bernie Ecclestone has long been chasing the possibility of bringing a Grand Prix to the region with suggestions that it would even be held on the streets of Manhattan itself. However these plans have never come to fruition, until this proposal from New Jersey.

The news, if confirmed, puts paid to any hopes that F1 will return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the 'home of US motorsport', which last hosted a US Grand Prix in 2007.

Lewis Hamilton won the final running of the event, which was held at IMS for eight years - but was marred by the notorious 2005 event which saw all but six cars pull out of the race at the start. That was because of concerns about Michelin tyre safety on the the high-speed banked turn 13, which resulted in a number of failures and accidents in practice and qualifying.

IMS still hosts an annual MotoGP event as well as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Brickyard 400 race, and of course is the home of the celebrated Indianapolis 500 won in 2011 for the second time by the late Dan Wheldon.


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