There are a lot of enthusiasts in the United States who like what’s going on in the European automotive scene. Italian exotics like Ferrari and Lamborghini, German sports and luxury cars, hot hatches, wagons, manuals – you name it. Something exciting from Europe has been in the works to head to our shores for a while – Formula One. F1 hasn’t been in the U.S for five years. Texas – specifically the city of Austin, has been selected to host it. Recently though, the operation hit a snag.
On November 15th, it seemed as if the deal to have the race hosted at the new track fell through. One company was building the track, and the other held the contract from Formula One to hold the race. The contract wasn’t delivered because F1 failed to receive a $25 million bond it was due to receive from the state of Texas. Apparently the Texas state comptroller decided the public money wouldn’t be delivered until after the race.
F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone set today as the deadline for receiving the funding. According to KXAN, the state didn’t deliver the money, but rather an disclosed source put the money up front. There is no details other than that, except to say construction is back on track and will be completed in time for the scheduled race next year.
Circuit of the Americas is a highly ambitious project, the first purpose-built Grand Prix facility in the U.S. It is designed for all types of racing, with the centerpiece being a 3.4-mile circuit track. The track will include public transportation, bike lanes, a medical facility, executive meeting suites, a conference center, banquet hall and outdoor music space. Other things in the works for the future include a driving/riding experience, motorsports driving club, kart track, Grand Plaza event center/tower, along with a trackside RV park. With all the tourists coming into the area, we can see why Texas would be putting up some public money to support the endeavor.
People coming to the event are expected to spend $700 per day per person (!). Circuit of the Americas said it has already received 100,000 expressions of interest to purchase tickets for Formula One alone. For more information you can head to the project’s website, www.circuitoftheamericas.com.