Site logo

Ecclestone ready to buy New Jersey race promoter to get race off the ground

NEWS STORY
20/05/2013

Earlier this month Pitpass <b>reported</b>that the proposed Grand Prix of America in New Jersey had lost a string of key personnel following the <b>revelation</b> in September last year by our business editor Christian Sylt that the contract to host the race in 2013 had been torn up. According to Bernie Ecclestone, Leo Hindery Jr, the chairman of the race, had missed deadlines in the agreement so clearly all was not well. A lot has happened since then.

In our report earlier this month we revealed that the race had lost its chief financial officer Michael Cummings and its chief marketing officer Trip Wheeler, son of former Charlotte Motor Speedway president Humpy Wheeler. Just three days after our article was published it was announced that former Long Beach Grand Prix promoter Chris Pook had been appointed as Hindery's special assistant. Pook is a long-time associate of Ecclestone so this appointment came with a great deal of promise. Since then, Ecclestone has said that he has put money behind the race and he has now gone one step further.

Writing in American motor magazine AutoWeek Sylt reveals that Ecclestone says, if necessary, he is prepared to buy a race organising company in order to get a Grand Prix in the New York area off the ground.

Ecclestone told Sylt "I wouldn't rule out buying a race promoter" and when asked if he was specifically referring to the Grand Prix of America he said "the answer is yes. We may do something in New York. We don't have to own the promoter but we would be happy if we took it on."

Ecclestone added "they won't get any government funding for the race but the government should really get behind it. We are cracking on with it."

It wouldn't be the first time that a race promotion company has been bought by the F1 Group, which owns the sport's commercial rights. Back in the early 1990s it owned the promoters of the Grands Prix in Belgium, Canada, Germany and the United States. More recently, in 2007 the F1 Group bought Istanbul Park Organizasyon A.S., the organiser of the Turkish GP, which had been on the calendar since 2005. Poor attendance eventually pushed the race off the calendar at the end of 2011 with a crowd of just 42,000 on the final race day.

"I thought Istanbul was a good place for a race but it turned out not to be a good deal," says Ecclestone. It isn't a move which he will repeat as he adds "I wouldn't consider buying another existing race promoter."

Ecclestone says "it is likely there is going to be a second or third race in the United States over the next couple of years. We are talking to the right people in America. I would most like a race in New York and LA."

It reflects Ecclestone's comments last year that his aim is to have several races in the US. So far, only one has actually made it to the calendar and that is in Texas.

In fact, despite all the talk about Thailand, South Africa et al, the only new Grand Prix which has a contract with Ecclestone is Russia. It is due to be held on the site of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi and Ecclestone told Sylt that the first race is still on track to take place in 2014 despite the bankruptcy earlier this year of its promoter OJSC Formula Sochi. In its place is the regional government's OJSC Centre Omega construction company which is responsible for building the circuit.

"The Russian Grand Prix is anything but dead," says Ecclestone adding "it is absolutely going to happen next year. They are getting on well." One wonders whether the same can be said of New Jersey.

LATEST NEWS

more news >

RELATED ARTICLES

LATEST IMAGES

galleries >

  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • Pitpass.com latest F1/Formula 1 images

POST A COMMENT

or Register for a Pitpass ID to have your say

Please note that all posts are reactively moderated and must adhere to the site's posting rules and etiquette.

Post your comment

READERS COMMENTS

 

No comments posted as yet, would you like to be the first to have your say?

Share this page

X

Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2022. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  privacy & security  |  rss  |  terms