F1 Exec Pook Says New Jersey Grand Prix Is "Absolutely" Still On For '14
F1 Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial, N.J. Special Assistant Chris Pook yesterday said that despite "considerable skepticism, the race 'absolutely' will happen next year and will be a boon to the United States Grand Prix rather than a drain" on the Austin event, according to John Maher of the AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN. Pook recently was "rumored to be part of an attempt to bring Formula One back to Long Beach, which now hosts an annual IndyCar race." But he said that he is "focused on New Jersey and was contacted by race organizers about two months ago." Pook: "That's been in the cards for a long time. Three years ago I was over there at [F1 CEO Bernie] Ecclestone's request. I gave my opinion and kind of stepped back." He added, "It was a tad ambitious to put (the race) on this year’s schedule. … Once you take it off, it sows seeds of doubt.” Pook said that New Jersey’s situation was "much like the one Austin organizers faced in the lead-up to the U.S. Grand Prix last November." Pook: “Everybody doubts it until it happens. That’s the state of affairs.” He added that German engineering firm Tilke GmbH, which designed Austin’s circuit, is "still the architect for the New Jersey project." Pook also said that there had been some "tweaks to the original plan" and that Hurricane Sandy damaged some infrastructure, but the race "will happen next year" (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 5/14).