Austin officials say they’re trying to move 2013 F1 race date

Officials with Circuit of the Americas are trying to move the date of next year’s Formula One race to avoid a scheduling conflict with a University of Texas home football game.

Meeting today in Istanbul, the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council released a 2013 calendar that keeps the Austin race on Nov. 15 through 17.

That date sets up a collision course with University of Texas football, which has a home game against Oklahoma State scheduled for Nov. 16.

November’s Formula One race at Circuit of the Americas drew more than 117,000 fans on race day Sunday. University of Texas games can draw about 105,000 to Royal-Memorial Stadium.

“Circuit of The Americas has expressed our strong preference for an alternate race date in 2013," chairman Bobby Epstein said in an email to the American-Statesman. “We understand that setting a global calendar can be very challenging, involves many factors and is out of our control. We feel confident that Formula One has taken our concerns seriously and is working earnestly towards a collective solution.

“Ultimately, our 2013 race date may remain as it currently stands."

In an email, Nick Craw, the Federation Internationale de’l’automobile’s highest-ranking U.S. official, said officials are still trying to move the date, but he gave no other details.

Having both events on the same weekend would put a big strain on restaurants, rental cars, shuttle buses and bars. The biggest conflict, though, probably would be over hotel rooms — Texas football fans might not get many of them, and there are thousands and thousands of fans who come in from out of town for home games.

Bob Burda, the Big 12’s associate commissioner for communications, said officials consider many things in creating a schedule that’s balanced for all 10 programs in the league.

“At the request of our television partners the 2013 schedule is subject to adjustments," Burda said. “However at this juncture it does not appear moving the Oklahoma State at Texas game off its scheduled date is an option as the two programs do not share a common open date."

The World Motor Sport Council did make one change to the 2013 calendar: moving the German Grand Prix to July 7 to make way for another Formula One event, subject to approval. However, the location of that event was not announced.

The move means the calendar will be made up of 20 races, as many as last season. The Statesman

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