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post #1 of 80 Old 11-15-2011, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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Austin Texas Grand Prix News

It's off, it's on!

For now, it looks like it might be OFF...Bernie says Austin is doubtful

http://circuitoftheamericas.com/

Austin circuit bosses insists track is still on course - F1 news - AUTOSPORT.com

The Austin fight goes public

Austin sports news and Longhorns | Statesman.com

Anyone heard otherwise?

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post #2 of 80 Old 11-15-2011, 02:14 PM
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sounds like a bunch of sabre rattling. It's coming down to it and everyone is jockeying for position. If not 2012 than2013. But i'm confident it will happen.



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post #3 of 80 Old 11-15-2011, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I agree with you Ed. I think both sides want it, but have to flex their muscles first.

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post #4 of 80 Old 11-15-2011, 05:07 PM
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Predicting Bernie is like predicting elections. There is no way to know until the checkered flag drops.
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post #5 of 80 Old 11-16-2011, 09:02 AM
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Plans for Austin to host Formula One's U.S. Grand Prix next year have been cast into doubt after construction of the racetrack was halted, and state authorities said Tuesday they would not pay in advance for the race.
Construction on the track has stopped because of a contract dispute between Formula One, race promoters and developers. And in a separate announcement, state comptroller Susan Combs said that $25 million in state money would not be provided in advance.

The project had been hailed as a $300 million boost to the Austin economy and a critical breakthrough back into the U.S. market for Formula One, which hasn't held the U.S. Grand Prix since 2007 in Indianapolis.

Circuit of the Americas officials, including billionaire
Red McCombs, said construction won't resume until they have a contract from Formula One to stage the race in Austin next year. The officials, without releasing details, said only that Formula One had not met a previously agreed timetable to send the contract and construction will not resume until that happens. The track is also scheduled to host MotoGP races for 10 years.

Tavo Hellmund, a former race driver with long family ties to Formula One boss
Bernie Ecclestone, was granted the right to stage the U.S. Grand Prix. Although he was a founding partner of the Circuit of the Americas, recent statements by Hellmund and Circuit of the Americas officials suggest a serious rift has developed.

Ecclestone said last week the sides have "forgotten to talk to each other." Hellmund did not immediately return a telephone message.

It was Ecclestone who made the surprise announcement in 2010 that Austin would host the return of the U.S. Grand Prix on the first track built specifically for Formula One. The project had the support of state lawmakers, who voted in 2009 to make the race eligible for $25 million from a special events fund. The project also had strong backing from Combs.

Correspondence between Combs, Ecclestone and Hellmund obtained by the
Austin American-Statesman showed the original plan was to pay Formula One a year in advance to cover the cost of the international sanctioning fee. There have been many signs of problems.

The race's original June 2012 schedule was pushed back to November, and the recent announcement of another Formula One race in
New Jersey starting in 2013 raised questions over Formula One's commitment to the Austin race. Combs noted the New Jersey race "is a concern" because it may reduce the number of race who would otherwise come to Austin.

That and the dispute between Hellmund and race promotes have prompted questions about "whether the Austin race will even occur," Combs said. "We have not paid out any money for the Formula One event," Combs said. "Ultimately, I am responsible for protecting the interests of Texas taxpayers, first and foremost. I will not allow taxpayer dollars to be placed at risk."

Bobby Epstein, founding partner of Circuit of the Americas, called the U.S. "vital for the future of Formula One and its teams and sponsors We hope that Texas will not be left behind."

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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post #6 of 80 Old 11-17-2011, 11:09 AM
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post #7 of 80 Old 11-17-2011, 11:20 AM
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Brian- Apparently Hellmund has been ousted and Ecclestone has not received the letter of credit from the new organizers necessary to proceed. Hellmund was a personal friend of Ecclestone's and Bernie is likely not willing to give as good terms to the new management team, especially with them having money problems. Dead in the water, it would seem.

At least we have the NJ GP, maybe, but the Austin site was less than an hour from my mother's house in Garden Ridge.

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post #8 of 80 Old 11-17-2011, 11:24 AM
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I know people who have done business with Bernie. I'll believe in either event the day it happens.

Don't make any non refundable reservations for either trip.


Sorry to say but in my opinion F1 doesn't have a chance of being a real sport again until after that mans demise.
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post #9 of 80 Old 11-17-2011, 11:32 AM
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Agree on NJ: Most viable but not on the agenda

Agree on Bernie: F1 needs to shake out the dust from biz that bernie practices.

US Should be one of the better venues IMO as more people could attend than 'common folk' in India.

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post #10 of 80 Old 11-17-2011, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Granucci View Post
Agree on NJ: Most viable but not on the agenda

Agree on Bernie: F1 needs to shake out the dust from biz that bernie practices.

US Should be one of the better venues IMO as more people could attend than 'common folk' in India.



But as opposed to many other countries only a small percentage have any interest in motorsports. Those that do, want to watch Bob, Dave and Jim race in cars that they understand and can relate too. Even Indy car racing has suffered from the lack of that.


Given Bernies demands I have serious doubts that any venue in the US will have a big enough draw to make the numbers pencil out. That is why Indy died. As big as that place is there was no way to put enough butts in the seats to pay Bernies franchise fee and that place hold a quater million people. The other two big sanctioning bodies seem to do just fine there. They fill the seats, everybody makes a buck and goes home happy.


Bernie is not stupid, I am sure he knows all that but he really does not care about the American market. Optomistic people come along with a fist full of money and Bernie does what he needs to do to get it.


I have 10 pictures of Ben Franklin that any US F1 venue will not run more than 3 years under Bernies control of F1.

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post #11 of 80 Old 11-17-2011, 02:11 PM
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Sad to see we may never get a F1 race here again. Certainly isn't good news if you are a Texas taxpayer and live in Austin as I think they city put up a few dollars too.
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post #12 of 80 Old 11-17-2011, 02:17 PM
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Guess Indy was the best shot and Bernie blew those chances. IF one cannot fill the in-between times, then what?

Perhaps a true in-city road rage, er, race would get 'some' interested again.....oh, well...dust off the passport and off to somewhere else.

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post #13 of 80 Old 11-17-2011, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Granucci View Post
Guess Indy was the best shot and Bernie blew those chances. IF one cannot fill the in-between times, then what?

Perhaps a true in-city road rage, er, race would get 'some' interested again.....oh, well...dust off the passport and off to somewhere else.


Indy was an outstanding shot. They know how to run races, they know how to get people in and out. They are very good and very practiced at what they do but even with a giant, pre-existing first class facility they could not generate enough revenue for Bernie.


I was up at Watkins Glen a few years ago. I was a really nice place and a good facility but the logistics were terrible. Terrible roads in and out and any hotels or an airport were a long way off. Those are the things that made Indy great.

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post #14 of 80 Old 11-17-2011, 05:58 PM
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too bad the track sucked..... the other problem was that indy was running pretty much the entire time shumacher was running away with it and many of those races were parades. and then there was tire gate. that was a real nail in the coffin. No advertising, ect. I know the us could be manipulated into loving f1. the problem is, there are many countries out there willing to pay top dollar to do everything bernie wants, the way he wants it and for the price he wants. China and korea come to mind. as long as there are countries like that lining up, it will be hard for a country that is trying to turn a profit on this race to compete. that is really the bottom line. sort of reminds me why we don't like factories here anymore.

like many other things, it's not about the thing anymore, it's about the profit margin. bernie doesn't have races anymore for the competition, spectacle, history, it's all about the do re me.



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post #15 of 80 Old 11-17-2011, 06:52 PM
 
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I know the us could be manipulated into loving f1.
I disagree. Let me ask you a question: did you know that Michael Jordan runs a SuperBike team? And if you are one of the 8 people in America who know this, can you (without google's help) name the brand of motorcycle he is running and any of the guys riding on his team?
My point is that American's do not understand road-racing no matter HOW many wheels. Nor do they WANT to, until they can sit in one spot, see the whole track and be served expensive beer while they do it. And this is why Sponsors don't buy in..... because they see MJ with Nike, Gatorade, etc etc etc, failing to gain any attention in a sport they're involved in, in spite of mega-dollars invested.

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the problem is, there are many countries out there willing to pay top dollar to do everything bernie wants, the way he wants it and for the price he wants.
This I agree with. Bernie can be so arbitrary in the demands he places on a racetrack. I know the famed track designer Alan Wilson quite well, and I was on the receiving end of one of his rants in '06, after Bernie had visited Miller MotorSports Park. Alan's words: "Bernie won't be happy until he has lined the entire racetrack with concrete walls". He places MEGA-Dollar demands on the racetracks, requiring huge $$ to get into compliance, and then he expects you to say thank you when he tells you his sanctioning fee is upwards of $20m, AND he has a list of restrictions and controls on sponsorships you can sell, again limiting a promoter's ability to make money, or even break even.
it is ludicrous. Bernie Ecclestone's contributions to racing are well documented.... and over. it is time for him to move-on and let someone else take it over.
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post #16 of 80 Old 11-18-2011, 05:21 AM
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looking at some of the things america gets interested in, i can only hope F1 would be easy. specially with all the bling. road racing was extremely popular here in the sixties/seventies. It's all about the marketing. I certainly believe we could easily fill up a track or two once a year. But, with bernie involved it's really a bottom line issue i think.

i have no idea about jordon. don't follow basketball or 2 wheel motorsports.



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post #17 of 80 Old 11-18-2011, 08:28 AM
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looking at some of the things america gets interested in, i can only hope F1 would be easy. specially with all the bling. road racing was extremely popular here in the sixties/seventies. It's all about the marketing. I certainly believe we could easily fill up a track or two once a year. But, with bernie involved it's really a bottom line issue i think.

i have no idea about jordon. don't follow basketball or 2 wheel motorsports.

Road racing was extremely popular?


I must have missed that.

It has never been and never will be popular in this country. Sure it might attract 40% of the diehard motorsports fans but that is a small number compared to Europe. Don't forget, if an Italian wants to go to the German GP it is like a guy from North Platte NE visiting Denver except he is pretty much stuck to driving a car. I bet the NHRA Winternationals draws more people than any regularly scheduled road race in the US.

Maytag was right. We want to sit in one spot and see the whole thing like a Basketball game. And I still say Americans want to see Jim and Bob and Dave duke it out in Fords and Chevy's, not Johann and Pieter and Pierre in cars brands they will never drive.

And that last point is where Ford was really stupid. Instead of calling their effort Jaguar in a desperate hope of selling more Jaguars it should have been named Ford. It would have generated more interest and sponsorship. Might even have survived.


One more thing. American race drivers go out of their way to portray being a regular guy. Just the guy on the next barstool having a beer and talking football. We all know the reality is they are getting in their G5 and flying home after the race but they do go to great lengths for their public personna and it works. Can you imagine any current F1 driver doing that? Ain't gonna happen, not in this lifetime. If anything they go out of their way to show the opposite and that works for their fans in other cultures.

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post #18 of 80 Old 11-18-2011, 09:18 AM
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can't a guy have a dream?

as far as road racing in the 60's-70's being extremely popular, i guess it depends on your definition. I'm sorry you missed it, but i didn't. i fondly remember spending those years at summit point with my dad watching paul newman in his datsun. I also remember all US manufacturers being heavily involved in trans am. the us is littered with road racing tracks that where packed in those years. the glen is a good example of that.

recently the dc and baltimore events did quite well without much marketing at all and shoddy management. I think F1 could successfully market to the US. specially if the manufacturers joined in. with the celebrities, bling, fast cars and personalities, it could take off. maybe not as big as nascar, but certainly enough to fill up a race or two. specially on the east coast.

also remember that when f1 left the us it was relatively huge. when f1 came to indy in 2000, they had race day attendance of 200,000. Can't imagine any race topped that. When it left in 2007 i believe it was averaging 125k. this is more than the british grand prix. to give you some perspective, the recent super bowl had 105k.

again, i don't believe it's too hard for the US to be marketed into the top tier of total attendees/viewers. I think it's simply the 25m per year bernie wants. i think that is just a little over what these races can generate anywhere. Only thing keeping these races in places like the uk, monaco, italy, ect is factors other than race fans like discounted race fees and the manufacturers being headquartered there. with two potential US races in the coming years, i think things may be moving more my way than yours, but we shall see.

i remain a believer in the possibility of F1 in the US. but, i've always got canada, which for me is about as close as any other.



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post #19 of 80 Old 11-18-2011, 09:34 AM
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i don't know. Fans seem pretty smitten with the bling bling celebrities in other sports and of course media. The aforementioned michael jordon would be a good example and we can't seem to get enough of paris hilton. Don't think nascar fans would be a good market to go after but i think new yorkers might be attracted. and with a strong base of fans alrewady, i don't see coming off as a regular guy as any obstacle at all. in fact, i think they could successfully market the snob factor. remember, all we have to do is put 100k butts in the stands to hang with anyone worldwide.

another factor is cost. most nascar tickets are well under $100 a canadian gp ticket will cost 5 times that. definitely not for the good ol boys.

remember, i was standing in a freezing field in nowheresville, delaware recently with close to 100k people to watch teams throw punkins into a field!


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One more thing. American race drivers go out of their way to portray being a regular guy. Just the guy on the next barstool having a beer and talking football. We all know the reality is they are getting in their G5 and flying home after the race but they do go to great lengths for their public personna and it works. Can you imagine any current F1 driver doing that? Ain't gonna happen, not in this lifetime. If anything they go out of their way to show the opposite and that works for their fans in other cultures.


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post #20 of 80 Old 11-18-2011, 09:39 AM
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Game over for the U.S. Grand Prix and the Circuit of the Americas - Autoweek

Looks like Epstein is the one who porked the pooch. Big Ego, no brains or experience.

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