Monday, Jul 29, 2013
) Few proposed races have had as troubled a history as the Grand Prix of America in New Jersey. It was originally due to take place this year but the brakes were put on that plan when Pitpass'
business editor Christian Sylt revealed that Formula One's boss Bernie Ecclestone had torn up the contract after the organisers missed payment deadlines.
A new agreement was signed in May this year and just when it looked like the race was on track for 2014 it came to light that in fact there is the small matter of the organisers needing to find $100m before it gets the green light. They have already run out of time according to Niki Lauda, one of Ecclestone's closest confidantes.
Speaking to Austrian television station ORF
, Lauda recently said that "the New York Grand Prix in New Jersey that was supposed to take place this year, has not taken place because of a lack of money in America.” He added that "as far as I know it has already been taken off the calendar again."
Lauda was being asked about the situation following the news that the Austrian Grand Prix will return to F1's calendar next year. He claims that there is a direct connection between its reinstatement and the demise of New Jersey. "As a result of the good relationship with Mateschitz [Ecclestone] has included this race on the calendar," said Lauda.
Lauda's comments are far from the only recent signs that next year's proposed race in New Jersey has bitten the dust. Last month the World Motor Sport Council announced that in order to preserve the historic date of the Le Mans 24 Hours, no F1 race will take place on the June 14/15 weekend. This ruled out New Jersey having a back-to-back race with Canada as it reportedly hoped to do.
Construction work is going on in New Jersey but it has been pointed out that a great deal of it was due to take place regardless of whether the F1 race goes ahead. The real problem isn't that the organisers lack funding to finish the engineering work but that the plan does not involve any government funding.
As Pitpass has explained at length, there are very few precedents of street races being run without state support. Indeed, council funding was even granted to the lowly Formula 3000 Superprix, which was held from 1986 to 1990 on the streets of Birmingham.
See more at: http://www.pitpass.com/49623-Lauda-says-New-Jersey-has-been-dropped-from-2014-calendar