View Full Version : F1 New York Grand Prix

May 22nd, 2010, 05:39 AM
New venue for New York race opens up

Friday 21st May 2010, 10:23

http://www.thef1times.com/news/cache/images/Monticello_Motor_Club.jpg (http://www.thef1times.com//news/cache/images/Monticello_Motor_Club.jpg)

A new venue has opened up as a possible replacement to the New Jersey race which came and went in less than 24 hours.
With Bernie Ecclestone keen on getting a race in New York, a little known private track, according to a leaked letter to Autoweek, has been in discussions with the 79-year-old about hosting F1.
Monticello Motor Club president Ari Strauss sent a letter to the club's members highlighting that he has and still is talking to Ecclestone about hosting the event at the foot of the Catskill Mountains just 90 minutes by car from Manhattan.
The letter also states that Herman Tilke has already visited the track and apparently determined that the facility is capable of hosting a race after some necessary safety modifications have taken place.
Strauss and track Chairman Bill McMichael are currently working to garner the support of the local and state politicians, as well as organisations to secure funding for the project.
Strauss recognises the difficulties in securing a worldwide sporting event like F1, stating that: "securing F1 is like winning the Olympics, competition is fierce, and this is not a done deal."
The current MMC track is 4.1 miles long with 22 corners and 1.5 miles of straights.


May 22nd, 2010, 05:58 AM
US track aims to host Formula 1 grand prix in 2012

Classic F1 - United States Grand Prix 1980

By Saj Chowdhury

The boss of a track in New York state has told the BBC it is in talks to host a Formula 1 grand prix in 2012. Representatives of Monticello Motor Club and F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone have been in talks regarding bringing the sport back to the United States.
"There was some agreement that Monticello could host a race," MMC chairman Bill McMichael told BBC Sport.
The US last held a grand prix in 2007 at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana.
Its eight-year run was ended after Ecclestone failed to come to an agreement with the circuit's chiefs over new terms.
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gif606: DEBATE
Is there an appetite for F1 in the US? (http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A68676547)
Monticello chairman McMichael, along with circuit president Ari Strauss, met Ecclestone and F1 circuit designer Hermann Tilke in 2009.
"We had contacted F1, specifically Ecclestone, last year with regards to potentially hosting an F1 race," added McMichael.
"After the meeting they said Monticello would be a nice place to host an F1 event. Since then we've been engaged in talks with the local government and F1 management in an attempt to finalise terms, but they haven't been finalised yet."
In order to be race ready for 2012, Tilke recommended that improvements would have to made to the grounds and the 4.1-mile circuit which is located in the Catskill mountains, about 75 minutes' drive from downtown Manhattan.
"It's a little bit early to say exactly how much it will cost but we will need to find approximately $150m," added McMichael.
The MMC is a private members club and McMichael said some of the funding for improvements would be provided by themselves.
"We'll try to get the money through a combination of public and private sources," he continued.
"We can fund some on our own as a private entity. But we've pointed out the positive economic impact on the host city and community to local government officials. They are sorting a financial package that would support such an expenditure."
We will now continue to negotiate with F1 management until both sides have agreement - then we pursue an event as quickly as possible

MMC chairman Bill McMichael

McMichael did not divulge what modifications would be needed to be made to the circuit, which is hopeful of a 10-year deal with F1.
The United States's relationship with the sport has been intermittent.
In 1961, Watkins Glen, in upstate New York, became the venue for the US GP and it hosted the event for 20 years.
Between 1976 to 1980 the race became known as the United States Grand Prix East in order to differentiate itself from the United States Grand Prix West which was held in Long Beach, California.
Las Vegas, Detroit, Dallas and Phoenix all hosted F1 races in the intervening years, before Indianapolis Motor Speedway, renowned for the Indy 500, became regular US hosts from 2000.
But in 2005, controversy blighted the race as a result of the Michelin tyre safety row which meant that the only cars on the starting grid were those of Ferrari, Jordan and Minardi.
Seven teams withdrew from the race after the formation lap.
Two years later, Indianapolis lost its right to host F1 and Ecclestone was quoted as saying: "It's all the wrong crowd and the wrong people."
"We would not run into a similar situation as Indianapolis," said McMichael.
"There would be enormous interest from the European, Asian and South American fan bases here. And hosting near New York makes sense in terms or travel, availability of hotel rooms and entertainment options."
McMichael added: "We will now continue to negotiate with F1 management until both sides have agreement. Then we pursue an event as quickly as possible."
The F1 calendar will expand from 19 to 20 races in 2011, while three races, the Chinese, Japanese and Turkish, are not contracted for 2012.


May 22nd, 2010, 06:09 AM
Monticello eyes US GP for New York State

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Rural Monticello is said to be 90 minutes from Manhattan...

The Monticello Circuit in New York State, described as a ‘country club’ for wealthy car enthusiasts, is the latest venue to emerge as a possible future host of the US GP. My colleagues at Autoweek magazine obtained a copy of a letter sent by Ari Strauss, the boss of Monticello Motor Club, to his members. It explains the thinking behind a possible deal, following recent dialogue with Bernie Ecclestone, and says that help has been sought from local and state authorities.

Opened in the summer of 2008 with a display by Mario Andretti in a Lotus 79, the 4.1-mile track was co-designed by Brian Redman. Apparently it has already been visited by Hermann Tilke, whose role was to pinpoint what might need upgrading for F1.

The rural setting of Monticello at the foot of the Catskill Mountains doesn’t really fit with what Ecclestone has been looking for, as it’s no secret that he wants a race in or around an major city. However the venue is said to be 90 minutes from Manhattan by road, and as such is the closest track to the city. The fact that it’s also a 25-minute helicopter ride will be of interest, at least to VIPs…

Club members pay $125,000 to join, plus an annual fee. The membership list include Jeff Gordon, Jerry Seinfield and some of NYC’s wealthiest inhabitants.

The full text of the letter is as follows:

Dear member,

Within the next day, you may read that Formula One is planning a return to the United States and has their sights on a special location in New York: Monticello Motor Club.
A few months ago, [MMC chairman] Bill McMichael and I met with Bernie Ecclestone, President/CEO of Formula One Management (FOM), and discussed the terms for an exclusive 10-year United States Grand Prix to be hosted at MMC. Shortly thereafter, Hermann Tilke, the chief engineer and circuit designer for F1, spent time at MMC and confirmed that our track and surrounding properties, with some expansion and minor track modifications, is an excellent location for a Grand Prix. Since receiving a letter of understanding from FOM confirming their hope to bring the U.S. Grand Prix to Monticello, Bill and I have continued to secure the backing and support of local, state, and federal politicians and organizations.
If F1 comes to Monticello, our intent is to preserve MMC as, first and foremost, a private country club. Obviously, demand will accelerate as well as the initiation fee for new members. But securing F1 is like winning the Olympics, competition is fierce, and this is not a done deal. While the prospect of F1 at MMC is exciting, we remain focused on our core business: the club and its members.
At this juncture, we are simply honored that F1 is considering our venue as the future, exclusive home for the U.S. Grand Prix. It would transform the region into one of the motorsports capitals of the world, bring thousands of jobs to Sullivan County, inject over $100M each year into the local economy, and place your private club in the company of famous racing circuits like Monza and Spa.

Warmest regards, Ari

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The track has a variety of layouts but will need some work to adapt to F1


May 22nd, 2010, 06:22 AM
F1 might come to Sullivan County New York

New York state is back in play as a “contender” for another American based F1 venue. The Monticello Motor Club has broached the idea, (http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/83748) a few weeks after New Jersey’s “want it-no we don’t” decision.
Go for it I say, but it has several issues that may work against it.
1. It is “90 minutes away from New York city”. Maybe as the crow flies or on highways unclogged with traffic. The only way to get there is via route 17, a two lane limited access State highway. And believe me, the summer traffic is/can be brutal. This is an issue not only for the teams but fans as well. Watkins Glen, further upstate then Monticello, suffered from the same logistics problems.
2. Local approvals. Monticello and its general area is a vacation place for many affluent N.Y. city residents, who relish their privacy. The MMC was built as a recreational track for those wealthy enough to keep-race their toys at the location. And if I recall, they had a hell of a time getting the facility approved by the local zoning-municipal powers that be. A Formula One race is an entirely different kettle of SAE40, and may face the same NIMBY problems all tracks do.
3. The track has received a review and preliminary blessing by no less an expert then Herman Tilke. According to Mr. Ari Strauss, President of the MMC:

“Shortly thereafter, Hermann Tilke, the chief engineer and circuit designer for F1, spent time at MMC and confirmed that our track and surrounding properties, with some expansion and minor track modifications, is an excellent location for a Grand Prix.
Watch your wallet Ari, that comment regarding “….some expansion and minor modifications…..” could end up costing you millions. And if Herman likes the layout how good can the track be? jus’ sayin’.
4. At first glance the track appears to be a great layout. On closer examination it is a tad narrow, has lots of Armco barriers and catch fencing, limited run off room, and may be WAY too costly to modfy to F1 standards.
Bottom line, if they build it I will go, but like all things F1 Bernie Ecclestone is merely playing off potential buyers against each other and I don’t think this location-ownership package has the business model to pull it off.


May 25th, 2010, 01:56 PM
'20pc chance' of US GP at Monticello

Monticello Motor Club, located about a 90 minute drive from New York City, has been given a 20 per cent chance of hosting the United States Grand Prix starting in 2012 or 2013.

It emerged last week that the private club's president Ari Strauss told members the venue is in talks with F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone and had already been visited by circuit designer Hermann Tilke.

He wrote in a letter that he is now working on securing political backing, insisting it "is not a done deal".

But a new report by the local daily Times Herald-Record reveals that Strauss and club chairman William McMichael also met recently with Ecclestone in London.

A considerable stumbling-block is that the $35 million track - built in 2008 at the old Monticello airport and with comedian Jerry Seinfeld among its members - needs $150m in improvements and then millions every year for F1's sanctioning fee.

"We are cautiously optimistic," Straus said. "If you told me I had to bet on it, I would say there is a 20 per cent chance."


May 25th, 2010, 03:10 PM
Austin to be surprise future home of US GP (http://adamcooperf1.com/2010/05/25/austin-to-be-surprise-future-home-of-us-gp/)

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Bernie Ecclestone has used his website to announce that a US GP will be held in Austin, Texas from 2012 to 2021. It will be the first F1 event held in the state since the one-off race at Dallas in 1984.

The news comes just days after the Monticello facility in New York State told the media that it was pitching for a race.

It had long been assumed that Ecclestone would settle only for a race in California, Florida, Las Vegas or New York, so the Austin deal comes a major surprise.

The Austin event will be promoted by Full Throttle Productions, a company with an involvement in NASCAR via Thunder Hill Raceway, a track 20 minutes south of Austin which hosts a Grand National race.

Ecclestone says a new facility will be built for the race in what is the USA’s 15th largest city. The Thunder Hill site is on 38 acres, and it remains to be seen whethe that’s where the F1 track will be built.

The company’s managing partner Tavo Hellmund said in the statement: “We are extremely honoured and proud to reach an agreement with the F1 Commercial Rights holder. We have been diligently working together for several years to bring this great event to Austin, the State of Texas, and back to the United States. All parties involved have a great amount of trust and confidence in each other and are committed to establishing the F1 United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas as a prestigious global event.

“This is a case of the right timing in the right place. As many Americans know, Austin has earned a reputation as one of the ‘it’ cities in the United States. Austin features that rare combination of ideal geographic location and beauty. Its fine dining, world-renowned hospitality and excellent transportation infrastructure make Austin ideally suited to host and manage an event of this magnitude.

“Few cities if any on America could rival the connectivity of all the key elements needed for hosting an F1 event as well as Austin. Now, many people around the world will have the opportunity to experience a world-class event, facility and city.”

The event clearly has the support of the city and state authorities, something that hasn’e been forthcoming with other potential US GP projects.