F1 to race in NJ overlooking Manhattan

UPDATE #6 Today's article has been updated with more photos.

10/25/11 See feature article on our home page about the announcement.

NYC skyline from Weehawken NJ

10/25/11 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. West NY Mayor Felix Roque said: "It's incredible. This is going to be an economic boom for this whole region." The race will take place on a four-lane motorway that runs alongside the Hudson River in Weehawken and West New York, New Jersey.

"It will provide a very challenging course," West New York attorney Joe DeMarco said. "They compare it to Spa in Belgium but it will have the feel of Monaco." (See AR1.com photos of NJ circuit)

10/22/11 This rumor is upgraded to 'strong' today. News that formula one is coming to New York is back in the headlines. The Wall Street Journal is reporting on Saturday that the sport will announce next week that a street race in Weehawken and West New York, against the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline, will take place in June 2013 to run back-to-back with the Canadian GP.

The report cited "two people familiar with the matter", adding that the press conference will take place in Weehawken, a New Jersey township, at the Hudson River waterside Port Imperial, on Tuesday. The is expected to be made by New Jersey governor Chris Christie and other local politicians next week.

Proposed Weehawken, NJ layout

If confirmed, it will mean the United States has two annual grands prix, with Texas set to join the schedule next year at a purpose-built circuit outside Austin.

In August, the Wall Street Journal said the mayors of Weehawken and West New York were in talks with private investors about a 2013 F1 street race.

10/21/11 Speed TV on Friday said it will interrupt its regularly scheduled programming on Tuesday, Oct. 25, at 2 p.m. Eastern to "bring audiences live coverage of a special announcement regarding the future of Formula One Grand Prix racing in the United States."

The broadcast is expected to be the formal announcement of the previously rumored New Jersey F1 race that will take place in view of the Manhattan skyline, probably in 2013 and likely paired with the Montreal F1 race.

The effort to bring the race to a temporary street-circuit in Weehawken and West New York in New Jersey is headed by gentleman racer Leo Hindery Jr., who is the former head of the YES network, and who is married to Speed TV executive Patti Wheeler, daughter of former Speedway Motorsports Inc. executive and legendary promoter Humpy Wheeler.

A well-regarded NASCAR executive is rumored to be joining the effort, though that announcement may or may not come on Tuesday.

The race is expected to complement the already-announced U.S. Grand Prix scheduled to debut in November 2012 in Austin, Texas as well as a race planned for Mexico. AutoWeek

10/21/11 SPEED will interrupt regularly scheduled programming on Tuesday, Oct. 25 at 2 p.m. ET to bring audiences LIVE coverage of a special announcement regarding the future of Formula One Grand Prix racing in the United States. SPEED’s coverage will be hosted by SPEED Center host Adam Alexander and also will be streamed on SPEED.com.

Proposed Weehawken, NJ layout

08/03/11 (GMM) Yet another attempt to bring the New York skyline to formula one has emerged.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the mayors of New Jersey townships Weehawken and West New York have revealed talks with private investors to put together a street race by 2013.

"In these uncertain economic times when every direct and indirect revenue source is vital, our own formula one race could be a very positive boost to our citizens," mayors Richard Turner and Felix Roque said in a joint statement.

"This said, we need to ensure that the financial benefits from the privilege of having these races in our towns are equitably shared and that no tax dollars are used. The investor group has already told us that our towns would be substantially compensated annually," they added.

A spokesman for New Jersey governor Chris Christie said the mayors have held preliminary talks about the proposal.

"The prospect of having Formula One come to New Jersey is exciting," he said.

Austin is scheduled to host its inaugural US grand prix on a purpose-built circuit next year.

According to the Wall Street Journal the talks are in "early stages" with Leo Hindery Jr. heading up the potential investors.

The race would run alongside the US Grand Prix in Austin which will hold its inaugural race next year. F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone has shown interest in bringing F1 to New Jersey before and last year revealed plans for a race there should Austin – which at that time was still in its planning stages – fall through.

"It would be in front of Manhattan in New Jersey, with the skyscrapers in the background," Ecclestone said, adding: "Fifteen minutes from the centre of New York to the circuit would be marvelous."

There were also talks last year of hosting a grand prix in Jersey City's Liberty State Park but mayor Jerramiah Healy vetoed the plans. The difference with the new project is that it has the local mayors' backing.

The Wall Street Journal said Bernie Ecclestone could not be reached for comment.

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