Texas F1 race in jeopardy
The planned 2012 US Grand Prix in Texas won’t go ahead unless promoters pay Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone $25 million by Thanksgiving.
Tavo Hellmund — the man behind Austin race promoter Full Throttle Productions — said at a press conference Thursday that the project was running out of money and investors did not have enough to pay Eccelstone to bring the race to Austin, myFOXaustin.com reported.
If the money isn’t paid by Thursday, November 24, the race will not go ahead.
Contractual disputes have arisen between the parties planning the race, including Circuit of The Americas, which is building the brand new race track.
Its president Steven Sexton said in a statement, "We have been excited for and working towards a 2012 USGP race and now understand that Mr. Ecclestone is interested in moving the Austin race to 2013. We know the US market is important to the teams and their sponsors and 2013 certainly allows time for the Circuit of The Americas to be ready."
Despite his comment that organizers would struggle to pay Ecclestone, Hellmund said there was a 50 percent chance the race would go ahead.
Texas officials had decided not to advance the $25 million in state money due to the drama and a Formula 1 race in New Jersey, myFOXaustin.com reported.
Ecclestone said a day earlier that he had received no guarantees he would be paid and that "we’ve done everything we bloody well can do to make this race happen."
Asked if the USGP was in danger of being axed when the 2012 calendar is officially ratified in December, he added, "Yes, it will be, for sure, 100 percent."