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Austin circuit layout nearing completion

ESPNF1 Staff
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The east side of of the Austin Grand Prix site, looking towards the airport and the city of Austin © Sutton Images

According to circuit designer Herman Tilke's US executive Christian Epp, the track layout of the new circuit in Austin is essentially complete.

Officials of Tilke's German design company, Tilke GmbH, have already started to arrive at the site to begin work on the circuit that will host the 2012 US Grand Prix.

"There is land, there is money, there is a Formula One contract. We are now ready to enter the final stage of the ambitious project," Epp was quoted in the American-Statesman. "We have to figure how many buildings and access roads are needed, how in detail to manage the water supply, drainage and power. It's like planning and building a complete new city."

Tilke GmbH already has geologists testing the 900-acre plot and a Tilke delegation is expected to continue working on the plans in Austin next week. The layout will be presented to the FIA in September with construction scheduled to begin in December.

"The engineers and the contractors tell me it can be built by summer 2012," added the race organisers' lawyer, Richard Suttle Jr.

Elsewhere, event promoter Tavo Hellmund told the official F1 website that he believes the Austin venue could stay on the calendar for as long as 40 years.

"I considered Austin as the ultimate place and I went to Bernie with this idea," said Hellmund. "Austin has developed immensely over the last 15 years - in every aspect - so for me there was no better place to hold the United States Grand Prix. The State of Texas has developed into the 11th biggest global economy and many of the Fortune 500 companies have their headquarters here. And Austin is the capital.

"My philosophy is that you will succeed if you are at the right place at the right time - and for a grand prix in Austin, Texas, I considered it to be the right time. We have a contract for the next 10 years, but if you ask me we could race here for the next 40 years!"