It’s been three years since Formula 1 last raced on American soil at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but the owners of the exclusive Monticello Motor Club (essentially a country club with a race track rather than a golf course) are hoping that the sport will return to the United States at their venue.
According to a report in Autoweek, Ari Strauss, president of the Monticello Motor Club, has been sending overtures to F1 head honco Bernie Eccelstone, and has secured the blessing of F1 track architect Herman Tilke. Strauss, who is trying to obtain support from local, state and federal politicians, noted that “…securing F1 is like winning the Olympics; competition is fierce, and this is not a done deal.” Monticello is in a good position, since it’s 90 minutes from Manhattan and 10 minutes from a major airport. Hit the jump to read the full text of Strauss’ letter to club members regarding the race.
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