As I reported in September, it has now been confirmed that there will be a Grand Prix of America on the streets of the New Jersey communities of West New York and Weehawken in June 2013. The event will see F1 cars running with the New York City skyline as its backdrop. The news was announced by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie at a press conference at Port Imperial. Christie said that a 10-year deal has been signed for a race on a 3.2-mile temporary circuit.
“New Jersey remains a leader in hosting all sorts of international events,” he said. “We are solidifying New Jersey as a destination for all kinds of sports. This is another example of what we can do when we work together. We promise everyone a great event I can assure the people from Formula 1 this is going to be one of the wisest decisions you’ve ever made.”
Christie said the race will have a significant economic impact for New Jersey.
“In terms of the economic impact it is going to be significant,” he said. “Think about bringing well over 100,000 people into this area to frequent the shops, the restaurants and the hotels, to be staying here for over three days in a celebratory mood watching one of the world’s great road races.”
The event will be paired with the annual event in Montreal, Canada, and will have no effect on the US Grand Prix that will be run in Austin, starting in November 2012.The race promotion group is led by Leo Hindery and features Humpy Wheeler as a consultant. Wheeler is a legend in race promotion in the United States. After working as a sports writer, a television director, a real estate manager and a dirt track promoter, he became the director of racing at Firestone Rubber & Tire Co and was then hired by Bruton Smith in 1975 to run Charlotte Motor Speedway. Smith and Wheeler turned Charlotte into the centre of NASCAR and at the same time built up Speedway Motorsports, which in 1995 became the first publicly traded motor sports company. Wheeler was known as the sport’s most colorful promoter. He left Charlotte in 2008 and has since built up The Wheeler Company, a consulting management firm focusing on motorsports.
“I have no doubt this will be one of the great marquee racing events in history,” said Wheeler at the launch. “I couldn’t have conceived a better course than this one here. I’ve got to tell you, I spent four years off and on looking for a place to build a track for NASCAR or whoever up in this area, and I missed this one completely.”