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Volume 10 No. 22

Events and Attractions

F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone "is insisting that the Grand Prix of America could still find a place on the 2014 F1 calendar, despite having said last week that the New Jersey event definitely won't be happening due to lack of funds," according to Adam Cooper of AUTOWEEK. However, he "has also made it clear that he is running out of patience, having already postponed the race's planned debut from this season." A '14 F1 schedule "is expected to emerge either at or just before the FIA World Motor Sport Council gathering on Sept. 27," and Ecclestone confirmed that is "more or less" the cut-off point for New Jersey. In essence, the New Jersey promoters "have to come up with some cash." Ecclestone: "They have a contract. If they can comply with the contract, we want to be there. If they come to me next week, and show they have complied with whatever it should be, it's alright. They've got to finish the circuit, so they need to pay, and they need to comply with the conditions for us." Asked if he really wanted the race to happen, he said, "Yes, of course. We've been mucking around and waiting long enough" (AUTOWEEK, 8/27). Asked about the recent reports, a Grand Prix of America spokesperson told SBD Global, "We appreciate the opportunity to comment on the story, but we don't discuss media reports or financial matters. We will have a statement after the FIA announces the 2014 calendar. Until then, we're continuing to prepare for the 2014 Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial" (HJ Mai, SBD Global).

The Napthine government has given Australian Grand Prix Chair Ron Walker the green light to negotiate a new Australian F1 Grand Prix contract with F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone "despite crippling losses and the F1 boss facing corruption charges in Germany," according to John Ferguson of THE AUSTRALIAN. Tourism Minister Louise Asher Wednesday announced that "taxpayers had bailed out this year's F1 grand prix and last year's Australian MotoGP" to the tune of nearly A$57M ($51M), adding to total losses of hundreds of millions since the mid-'90s. While Asher noted an improvement in revenue and some cost savings, "the losses will weigh heavily on the government as it seeks to sign a contract extension" after the '15 car race. Asher said that Melbourne's A$1.4B major events calendar "was underpinned by the F1 race and the investment represented good value for the community" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/29).

Asian Tour Chair Kyi Hla Han said Tuesday that the ThaiPGA "has been given more time to find sponsors for the King's Cup." With the ThaiPGA struggling to attract sponsors for the $1M tournament, which is scheduled to take place from Dec. 19-22, Han said that "the Asian Tour can wait until mid-September." Han: "I hope it will be sorted out in two or three weeks" (BANGKOK POST, 8/28). ... The PGA European Tour "has partnered with wireless network provider Xirrus in order to provide spectators with Wi-Fi at its golfing events" (THE DRUM, 8/28).