Inaugural America GP nixed due to lack of cash, says Ecclestone
Washington: Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that the inaugural Grand Prix of America at New Jersey will not take place as planned next year, and has blamed the organisers of not raising enough money to fund the race.
According to CNN, the race was scheduled to take place on 3.2 miles of public roads in Port Imperial, New Jersey, alongside the Hudson river, which would have given the race a spectacular backdrop of Manhattan`s historic skyline.
Although the race has already been postponed once, having been initially scheduled for June this year, the report said that the plan started unraveling with the resignation of the race`s president Tom Cotter in August 2012, after which Ecclestone brought it to a stop when the organizers missed payment deadlines in their contract with the F1 Group.
Although the Grand Prix of America organizers have reportedly started to raise the 100 million pounds required for the race to go ahead, however, Ecclestone said that the organisers have run out of time and added that the race is not on the cards for next year.
According to Ecclestone, the situation in New Jersey is a `mess not worth doing`, adding that he had originally signed the deal as he had believed that the race`s promoter, Leo Hindery Junior, managing partner of private equity fund InterMedia Partners, would be able to raise the required funds.
However, Grand Prix of America spokesman Alex Howe insisted that they expected the race to go ahead, adding that they are on track for 2014 and will officially release a statement following the announcement of the official 2014 FIA Formula One World Championship schedule.
According to the report, the Grand Prix of America is the only new F1 race for over 15 years to be dropped from its slot on the calendar, adding that the race was a part of F1`s strategy to break into the lucrative US market, which is dominated by local rivals NASCAR and IndyCar.
Losing the New Jersey race could cost F1 more than 375 million dollars across the duration of its contract, as the annual fee has been estimated at 25 million dollars with a small escalation every year, the report added.