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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Baltimore’s Grand Prix, an IndyCar Series race, is in great jeopardy when the city terminated its contact with the organizers of the race. The city has been warning Baltimore Racing Development that they would terminate its five-year contract if BRD failed to pay the $1.5 million owed to the city by the end of 2011.
Now it’s 2012 and BRD hasn’t paid up, forcing Baltimore to pull the plug, opening the door to others interested in continuing the race in future years. BRD was responsible for organizing the Baltimore Grand Prix and their duties ranged from bringing the fencing to line the course to selling sponsorships and tickets to the event.
The Mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, had hoped that the BRD would restructure in order to pay their debts before the end of the year as the Grand Prix had generated $47 million in economic impact for Baltimore. ”The event, if conducted responsibly, has significant economic value to potential investors and the City this year and in future years,” said Rawlings-Blake.
BRD currently has almost $600,000 in unpaid taxes along with lawsuits from investors and vendors.
The moment has come. Formula One, the pinnacle of international automotive racing, is coming for Greater New York in 2013!
According to well placed sources involved in the matter, the Formula 1 franchise will make an official announcement of the “Formula One Grand Prix of America” some time next week. Slatted for June 2013, the Weehawken-West New York road course of New Jersey will feature a stunning Manhattan skyline backdrop.
A Tuesday press conference at Port Imperial, Weehawken is expected. This project was first proposed in August, when the mayors of Weehawken and West New York issued a joint statement that revealed discussions with a group of investors led by Leo Hindery by Leo Hindery, Jr., a former chief executive of the YES Network, to bring a race to New Jersey were in motion.
The current Formula One calendar features nineteen incredible destinations including Monaco, Shanghai, Sao Paulo, Yas Marina, Montreal, Melbourne, and Catalunya. The last grand prix held in the United States was at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2007.
By 2010, already a three year hiatus, Formula 1 already announced plans for a return to the United States. As we speak, a state-of-the-art $250 million racetrack in Austin, Texas enters the final phases of construction, readying for its debut at the November 2012 Formula One Grand Prix of America. With the addition of the New Jersey circuit, racing fans in the United States finally gets to experience the excitement they deserve.
[Source: Wall Street Journal]
Barber Motorsports Park’s Leeds, Alabama test track (about 2 hours from Atlanta, Georgia) has now become certified as an approved site for Formula 1 teams to test their cars, but it’s unlikely that Barber will host an F1 race any time soon.
New tracks are required to post a fee of between $25 and $30 million to get the proper certification needed to host a proper Formula 1 race, and neither Barber’s owners nor the state government are willing to fork over the cash (as Texas did to bring the Grand Prix to Austin).
On the other hand, Barber could charge a track rental fee to any team that wanted to test, and with buzz building for the Austin race, having teams test in North America could become a possibility.
David Coulthard and his Red Bull F1 team traveled down to Austin, Texas to check out the soon to be completed Circuit of the Americas track.
Over the weekend, David Coulthard took his 750-hp Red Bull Formula One race car on a cruise in and around the Texas capital, engaged in some hooning and put on a show for the crowd.
In this clip, Coulthard takes the high performance F1 car on the dirt roads of the soon to be grand prix track, as well as along some highways. It’s not every day you get to see one of these cars go off-roading, or tear through city steets.
Check out the videos after the jump!
GALLERY: Red Bull F1
The FIA has just posted its 2012 Formula 1 schedule, and good news to race fans and Americans in general: in the world of international motorsports, our fair nation is once again significant!
That’s right, the 10th round of the 2012 Grand Prix schedule includes a date in Austin, Texas—the return of F1 to our shores since 2007, when the U.S.: Grand Prix at Indianapolis staggered on for two years after the embarrassing 2005 tire controversy. FIA president and Dr. Evil impersonator Bernie Ecclestone vowed in 2009 to never return to the U.S. again, but last year Austin was awarded a 10-year race contract on a brand-new track, the Circuit of the Americas, to be completed in time for next year’s race.
So mark your calendars for June 10th, for when the F1 circus storms into Austin to continue keeping it weird. Now that America is back on the international racing map, maybe we can embrace soccer next. Nah, one step at a time.
Formula One Driver Lewis Hamilton, who finished sixth in the chaotic Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday has apologized to the FIA Stewards for his controversial remarks. After being punished three times in two days, Lewis criticized the stewards in a BBC interview. He also made a reference to Ali G, the comedy character created by Sascha Baron Cohen. Lewis said the way he had been treated this season was “an absolute frickin’ joke” and described his treatment as “stupid”. Asked why that was the case, Hamilton said: “Maybe it’s because I’m black! That’s what (British comic character) Ali G says.”
During the early part of the race, Hamilton was given a ‘drive-through’ penalty for a brush with Brazilian Felipe Massa of Ferrari. He was then called in again by the stewards after a late clash with Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado of Williams, as he passed him at the tail end of the race for which he received a 20 sec penalty which did not affect his final placing. Hamilton said he felt he had done nothing wrong in both cases.
Hamilton said that he felt victimized by events at recent races, complaining that he had done his best to provide entertainment by going for over-taking opportunities. “People want to see racing,” he said.
Renault’s Vitaly Petrov recently made history by becoming the first Russian driver to clinch a Formula One podium finish. Now he’s making history through the Internet with this awesome footage of him catching air at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Going slightly wide on turn 7 of the course, Petrov launched his Renault race car while in eighth place. Unfortunately the landing snapped the steering column, ending his day of racing short. His teammate Nick Heidfeld did clinch a podium finish however.
Check out the video after the break.
Michael Schumacher has apologized to Rubens Barrichello after nearly running him into a retaining wall at the 2010 Hungarian Grand Prix. The apology came via a text message, but the actual words were not released.
Schumacher, who defended his actions despite a massive outcry, published a statement on his website saying he was “sorry” and did not intend to put Barrichello’s life in jeopardy.
Now, reports say that Schumacher went a step further and apologized to his former team mate via a text message. Barrichello went on to confirm this, and was gracious in his response.
“Somebody said to him that I was under the impression he had pushed me onto the wall, and he said it wasn’t the case and he apologised for that. I just said ‘thank you, no problem’. I accepted it, wished him a good weekend, life goes on.”
[Source: Sky Sports]
Hit the jump to see video of Rubens and Schumi battling it out at the 2010 Hungarian GP
News that Liberty State Park in Jersey City, NJ, directly across the Hudson River from downtown Manhattan, was being considered as a potential site for a 2012 U.S. GP emerged yesterday, but Jersey City mayor Jerramiah Healy announced today that the Formula 1 proposal was no longer being considered.
The story of a possible NYC GP emerged after documents obtained by opposition group ‘Friends of Liberty State Park’ showed plans for a 3.6-mile track within the 1200 acre park providing “the least impact to city functions.”
Jersey City mayor Healy issued a statement yesterday clarifying that the city was approached by F1 and that discussions were very much in the exploratory phase. Today Healy released the following statement, dashing any hopes of a US GP with NYC’s amazing skyline as a backdrop:
“After a review of the draft proposal prepared by the City’s Tourism Office, I have come to the conclusion that this type of event is not suited for Liberty State Park. While we work to attract national and international events to our city, we must ensure that they are appropriate and will have the least impact upon the quality of life of our residents and our community.”
It’s unclear how seriously F1′s Bernie Eccleston took the Jersey City proposal since he’s made no comment on it thus far, nor is it know if he has other credible candidates in the U.S. lined up. The imagery of Formula 1 against the backdrop of NYC would have been incredible, but it looks like we’ll have to settle for a little Gotham City racing on the Xbox instead.