Breaking: Texas gets USGP for 2012

Forget New York and New Jersey.

Forget them Yankees, in other words.

Austin, Texas has just been announced as the winner of the 2012 U.S. Grand Prix.

I kid you not.

Formula One returns to the United States

Formula One World Championship Limited and Formula One Administration Limited (together, the F1 Commercial Rights Holder) and Full Throttle Productions, LP, promoter of the Formula 1 United States Grand Prixâ„¢, announce that a historic agreement has been reached for Austin, Texas to serve as the host city of the Formula 1 United States Grand Prixâ„¢ for years 2012 through 2021.

“We are extremely honoured and proud to reach an agreement with the F1 Commercial Rights Holder. We have been diligently working together for several years to bring this great event to Austin, the State of Texas and back to the United States. All parties involved have a great amount of trust and confidence in each other and are committed to establishing the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™ in Austin, Texas as a prestigious global event,” stated Tavo Hellmund, Managing Partner of Full Throttle Productions, LP.

Bernie Ecclestone, President and CEO of the Formula One Group stated: “For the first time in the history of Formula One in the United States, a world-class facility will be purpose-built to host the event. It was thirty years ago that the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™ was last held on a purpose-built permanent road course circuit in Watkins Glen, NY (1961-1980), which enjoyed great success. Since then, Formula One has been hosted by Long Beach, Las Vegas, Detroit, Dallas and Phoenix all on temporary street circuits. Indianapolis joined the ranks of host cities in 2000 when they added a road course inside the famed oval. Lewis Hamilton won the last Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™ in 2007, signalling the end to eight years at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This however, will be the first time a facility is constructed from the ground up specifically for Formula One in the US.”

Mr. Hellmund added: “This is a case of the right timing in the right place. As many Americans know, Austin has earned a reputation as one of the ‘it’ cities in the United States. Austin features that rare combination of ideal geographic location and beauty. Its fine dining, world-renowned hospitality and excellent transportation infrastructure make Austin ideally suited to host and manage an event of this magnitude. Few cities if any in America could rival the connectivity of all the key elements needed for hosting a Formula 1 event as well as Austin. Now, many people around the world will have the opportunity to experience a world-class event, facility and city.”

“We are pleased Texas has the opportunity to be involved with Formula 1 and that an event of this magnitude is coming to Austin,” said Susan Combs, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. “It has been a pleasure working with Full Throttle Productions, LP and Mr. Hellmund on this project. Their tradition of producing successful major events coupled with a thirty year relationship with Mr. Ecclestone has us looking forward to this worldwide event and the benefits it will bring, including local job creation, increased tourism and a significant economic impact added to our state economy. The visibility and prestige of this event will spotlight our state on an international stage.”

Texas Governor Rick Perry conveyed his enthusiasm for the project, explaining “Texas’ relatively strong economy continues to draw both national and international attention and I commend Comptroller Combs for her work in bringing this exciting event to the Lone Star State.”

City of Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell continued the positive sentiments, adding “The City of Austin will be proud to host this magnificent event and I look forward to welcoming the participants and fans of Formula One to our City.”

Full Throttle Productions, LP acknowledges with great appreciation the efforts of all parties involved including Bernie Ecclestone, President and CEO of the Formula One Group, and the local and state officials of Texas.

“It has been a shared vision and monumental task to reach this agreement. We realize that over the last 30 years there have been one or two missing pieces from the previous editions of the Formula 1 United States Grand Prixâ„¢. We have a tremendous opportunity at hand to do it right – to feature Austin as the backdrop and produce the Formula 1 United States Grand Prixâ„¢ as one of the great sporting events in the world,” stated Hellmund.

We’ll pull more together as the day continues.

I can say, quickly, that Austin is a great town.

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