JUNE 9, 2011
Problems for Austin GP?
ESPN has reported that the USGP project could stumble if it does not receive the full support of Austin City Council.
Council members apparently, must sign off as the "endorsing municipality" in order for race organisers to access the $25 million per year promised by the Texas government. Doing so will mean committing the city of Austin itself to contributing $4 million.
"There is a distinct possibility that if this process doesn't work, that the project and the 1000 people that are working right now, their jobs could be in jeopardy and the event could be in jeopardy," said US GP lawyer Richard Suttle.
Suttle admitted that organisers gambled on the council approving the plan due to the benefits to the region. The decision is due later this month, with the organisers' 2012 sanctioning fee due one month later.
Hopefully for race fans, the claims are a method of ramoing up pressure on the council but, asked if the project could be scrapped, Suttle was quoted in the American Statesman newspaper: "That's a distinct possibility."
Austin was listed on the 2012 provisional calendar issued after the FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting last week, which contained 21 races. FIA president Jean Todt, however, has said that the final calendar will contain 20 races, with doubts over the Turkish race.