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It's on! Hudson to host 2013 F1

2011-10-26 12:30

PORT IMPERIAL, New Jersey - The USA will host two Formula 1 GP events from 2013 when the Grand Prix of America is raced for the first time on the shore of the Hudson River in the town of Weehawken.

State governor Chris Christie announced on Tuesday: "I'm pleased that New Jersey will play host to F1 from 2013, bringing one of the world's most popular and exciting sports right to our back yard."

100 000 SPECTATORS

It will be a five-kilometre race on existing roads through Port Imperial and at the top of the Palisades in Weehawken and West New York, Christie said, and added: "We expect as many as 100 000 people will attend each race, starting with Friday practice then qualifying on Saturday and racing on Sunday."

Race promoter Leo Hindery said he looked specifically at this part of New Jersey rather than nearby New York because "it was never gonna work" in the Big Apple.

Christie said that the race would open up his state: "People from the whole world will come to New Jersey to see this unique and exciting course."

'GET READY, GET SET - BUILD!' Construction workers stand where the pits (see image top of story) will be while listening to New Jersey governor Chris Christie announce that the ferry terminal will host Formula 1 in 2013. Image: AFP

Authorities said the race would not receive any subsidies from either local or state government but Christie said he had no concerns that the course, laid on existing streets, would pose any safety hazard.

The mayors of Weehawken and West New York municipalities, Richard Turner and Felix Roque, said the race "will have a significant economic effect on our towns and local business... several hundred million dollars."

F1's last appearance on US soil was in 2007, not helped by the fiasco two years earlier when only six cars started the race at Indianapolis because drivers felt the supplied tyres were unsafe.

The series' return to America is planned for November, 2012, in Austin, Texas, where the new Circuit of the Americas is being built. The race has, however, drawn criticism from state lawmakers opposed to the deal that public funds are paying for the project.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the famed Indianapolis 500, ran the  US GP from 2000-2007. Before that F1 was run at Long Beach, California, Las Vegas, Detroit, Dallas and Phoenix on a variety of street circuits.

F1 and Indianapolis went their separate ways when they couldn't agree on finances.

Flashback to the 2007 US F1 GP

AFP