Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Let's race, Austin!

Austin will soon be home to a lot more high-speed driving.  That's right--they're finally widening I-35!

Yeah, right.

Okay, back on Planet Reality, I-35 may never be widened, but there will be some high-speed driving in the form of the Formula One United States Grand Prix:

“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 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™ in Austin, Texas as a prestigious global event,” stated Tavo Hellmund, Managing Partner of Full Throttle Productions, LP.

Bernie Ecclestone, President and CEO of the Formula One Group stated: “For the first time in the history of Formula One in the United States, a world-class facility will be purpose-built to host the event. It was thirty years ago that the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™ was last held on a purpose-built permanent road course circuit in Watkins Glen, NY (1961-1980), which enjoyed great success. Since then, Formula One has been hosted by Long Beach, Las Vegas, Detroit, Dallas and Phoenix all on temporary street circuits. Indianapolis joined the ranks of host cities in 2000 when they added a road course inside the famed oval. Lewis Hamilton won the last Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™ in 2007, signalling the end to eight years at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This however, will be the first time a facility is constructed from the ground up specifically for Formula One in the US.”

Mr. Hellmund added: “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 in America could rival the connectivity of all the key elements needed for hosting a Formula 1 event as well as Austin. Now, many people around the world will have the opportunity to experience a world-class event, facility and city.”

An agreement has been signed that will make Austin the host of the race from 2012 to 2021.  No word yet on where a ground-up racing location might be built.  Let me take the opportunity to make the first prediction:  east of I-35.

Just plan to take some extra time if you want to drive over there to see the race.