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.