• US Grand Prix

Austin on track to host 2012 US Grand Prix

ESPNF1 Staff
November 4, 2010 « Domenicali stokes fire before Brazil | »
Nicholas Craw, president of the FIA Senate; promoter Tavo Hellmund and Tilke architect Peter Wahl, Tilke Architect, with a model of the Austin Formula One circuit © Sutton Images

The lead attorney for the US grand prix promoter has denied reports the Austin track will not be ready for its scheduled 2012 race debut.

An official document that emerged this week showed that the expected build time for the Austin circuit, with construction set to begin in December, is 24 months. But lawyer Richard Suttle, representing race organiser Tavo Hellmund, said the project is still right on schedule.

However, he did say that it would not be ready 90 days in advance as FIA regulations stipulate. "While we would love to have the luxury of having a completed track, the schedule - much like the construction schedule for the last five grand prix track developments and races added to the schedule - will potentially not afford us this opportunity."

At a meeting of the City of Austin's environmental board on Wednesday, the first approvals for the circuit's plans were granted. "This project is on track, it's on schedule with the help from the city and the county that we've [received]," Suttle told local KVUE News. "We've been able to stay on track and we're definitely on schedule, if not ahead."

And FIA Senate president Nick Craw praised progress at the circuit. "It'll be great," he said. "This has some of the most interesting, exciting and different features, drawn from other successful venues around the world. It's a very strong team they've assembled here, I think it's a very good plan and a very solid business model. They've set the bar pretty high."