Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has been keen to see a grand prix around New York for some time and when plans to host the race in Weehawken New Jersey seemed to grind to a halt, Ecclestone started commenting on possible options for the Long Beach Grand Prix in Los Angeles.
The New York GP promotion group seemed to have its share of issues and when the deadline for payment came and went, the race was promptly taken off the 2013 calendar. Now it seems that the promotion group, headed by Leo Hindery Jr, has hired former CART boss Chris Pook as a assistant to the group in the hopes of getting the race off the drawing board and on the F1 calendar.
The desire to host a race in New York is near and dear to Ecclestone’s heart and now it seems he may even be willing to purchase a race promoter in order to make the race a reality telling Christian Sylt:
“I wouldn’t rule out buying a race promoter.
We may do something in New York. We don’t have to own the promoter but we would be happy if we took it on.
They won’t get any government funding for the race, but the government should really get behind it. We are cracking on with it.”
As Sylt point out in his article, Ecclestone is no stranger to owning the promotional arm of a local race. He secured the ownership of the promotional group for the Turkish Grand Prix but that race was taken off the calendar in 2011 due to low attendance:
“I thought Istanbul was a good place for a race but it turned out not to be a good deal,” says Ecclestone. “I wouldn’t consider buying another existing race promoter.”
He adds that, “It is likely there is going to be a second or third race in the U.S. over the next couple of years. We are talking to the right people in America. I would most like a race in New York and [Los Angeles].”
In classic Ecclestone form, he’s suggested he would buy a promoter and that he wouldn’t buy a promoter. The odds of Ecclestone acquiring a race promotion group in the US in order to green-light a race in NY seems far-flung to be honest but as Chris pointed out in his story, it is not unheard of as Turkey, Canada, Germany, Belgium and even the US were all investments he made in the 90’s. But that was the 90’s… things were different, he was younger and he had an apetite for the deals.