SBD/June 10, 2013/Events and Attractions

F1 Grand Prix Of America Inks 15-Year Deal; Negotiations Ongoing For Canadian Race

Formula One is keeping the original plan to hold the race a week after the Canadian GP
F1 Grand Prix of America Exec Chair Leo Hindery said that the event has a "new, 15-year contract" with F1, and that "preparations are proceeding as planned for the inaugural race" at Port Imperial, N.J., in June '14, according to Steve Strunsky of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone had "dissolved their original agreement last fall after Hindery’s group could not meet its obligations under the prior deal." But Hindery last week said that "all permits had been secured and work was proceeding" on the race. The Grand Prix of America's outlook recently was "clouded by the realization that the weekend originally scheduled by F1 for the Grand Prix of America -- corresponding to Father’s Day in the U.S. -- would present a broadcasting conflict with the final round of golf‘s U.S. Open on NBC Sports." Hindery said that F1 was "keeping to its original plan" to schedule the race as the "next event after the Canadian grand prix, a logistically efficient race-pairing for F1‘s 11 teams and large international community." Meanwhile, Hindery said that he has "hired a new member of his race team" in F1 veteran Martin Hunt, who had "served as an official" with U.S. Grand Prix host track Circuit of the America as Race Operations Dir (NJ.com, 6/7). Hindery said that the paddock area "is nearly completed ... and paving work on the road course could start as early as" this week. He added that there are "plans to have 39 ferries available to bring fans to and from the track site during the event" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/8).

NORTH OF THE BORDER: The GLOBE & MAIL's Sean Gordon noted the contract between Ecclestone and Canadian Grand Prix race promoter Octane Motorsports President & CEO Francois Dumontier runs out in '14, and "while talks have been ongoing for more than a year to extend that contract for another decade, progress has been painstaking." There is "still ample time to reach a deal -- the 2015 F1 calendar won’t come out until the fall of next year -- but the longer the negotiations drag on, the more the uncertainty will build." The main "sticking point is the amount poured into the race by the three levels of government -- while Ecclestone is reportedly willing to accept a modest increase on the $15-million or so in public money his company receives each year, Ottawa doesn’t seem in a big hurry to add to its share of the pot" (GLOBE & MAIL, 6/8).
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