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New Jersey lining up another F1 bid

ESPNF1 Staff
August 3, 2011 « Bernie plays down Briatore's role in banker payment | »

Formula One could have two grands prix in the USA by 2013 if new plans for a race in New Jersey come to fruition.

The Wall Street Journal reports that mayors of New Jersey townships Weehawken and West New York are in talks with private investors to put together an event by 2013. The proposed layout would be a street circuit on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River with the New York skyline as a backdrop. Key to the project is that it is self-sustainable and not reliant on tax dollars.

"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."

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

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 marvellous."

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.