MAY 21, 2010
United States Grand Prix to rural New York?
A letter has gone out to members of New York's Monticello Motor Club, an exclusive driving resort race track ninety miles from Manhattan, informing them of progress in talks to bring the United States Grand Prix to the facility for 10 years, starting in 2012.
Ari Straus, President of MMC, has told Grandprix.com exclusively: "MMC Chairman Bill McMichael and I are honored that Formula One World Championship is considering Monticello Motor Club as a venue for the United States Grand Prix, and we are taking this opportunity with all the seriousness it requires. Hermann Tilke has surveyed the facility and laid out what modifications we need to implement, from the standpoint of the circuit, as well as access and local infrastructure."
The circuit was opened in 2008 in the lower Catskill mountains, as a resort for driving enthusiasts, and boasts a membership roster that includes NASCAR Champion Jeff Gordon and entertainer Jerry Seinfeld. It has been used exclusively for non-commercial purposes until now, but is poised to make the changes necessary to accept an event of the level of Formula One. It is currently the nearest major road course racing circuit to New York City.
Straus said, "We are in a position to move forward for many reasons, notably our proximity to the New York City metropolitan area, and the flexibility we have in terms of making changes to the track itself and its access for fans. Our members are a very forward thinking group of individuals who are a great asset themselves to this project, on different many levels."
Straus further asserts that realistic funding is in place to warrant moving forward and that a letter of intent has been signed by Formula One Management, that allows the next steps to be to be taken.
Straus and McMichael have been engaged in talks with F1 Boss Bernie Ecclestone for the past few months, and while admitedly far from a done deal, signs point towards this being a serious project.