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SBD Global/March 8, 2013/Events and Attractions

New Jersey F1 Race Promoter Hindery Jr. Says 'We Are Back Under Construction'

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Construction work for the American Grand Prix in New Jersey is back on, the race's promoter said.
New Jersey F1 Race Promoter Leo Hindery Jr. said that the American Grand Prix is back on track after it had to postpone its ’13 scheduled debut due to missing local and federal approvals that made it difficult to have all the capitalization in place. Hindery said, "We are back under construction. We have the consents in place that we didn’t have last fall, and we will quite comfortably put the race on, now probably in the mid-year of 2014 with [F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone’s] support." He added: "There are two civil engineering pieces that still need attention. One is the obvious one in that the course itself has to be paved to take out any crowns in the roadway, make it perfectly flat, and then [FIA F1 Race Dir] Charlie Whiting and his associates demand a quality of asphalt paving that’s very, very high end." The pavement work will start around September when the weather is most conducive to do such work. The second piece that needs attention includes transportation and seating alongside the Hudson River. Hindery said, "We are going to put some, like a pontoon, floats where some of the ferries that will serve the race will dock. We have about 39 ferries that will be part of the transportation scheme. And we will do some work over the summer to make the landing area for the ferries a little larger and that will include some stands right on the river’s edge."

DROPPED DREAMS: The proposed "New York" race has long been the dream of Ecclestone, Hindery said, and "We were on track, I thought, pretty well for June 2013, and, to be frank, we couldn’t get all of the approvals necessary, most especially right around the river itself. Here in the U.S., water ways are the responsibility of multiple jurisdictions. We have now all of those consents." The missing approvals made it difficult for the organizers to have all the capitalization in place. Ecclestone said, "The problem in New York/New Jersey is not a problem for us. It's a problem for the people that started this, and I think it's basically a financial problem." Organizers also would have been unable to put some needed viewing stands right at the river’s edge. In addition, Hindery said Hurricane Sandy, which devastated parts of the Northeast, "distracted everybody as well." Out of time and without the necessary approvals Ecclestone decided to drop the American Grand Prix from the ’13 F1 calendar. Hindery: "I think that Bernie made absolutely the right decision."
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