Who is funding the USGP in Austin Texas?

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Who is Tavo Hellmund? While we have a message in to Mr. Hellmund, I did find a piece about a certain NASCAR grand national driver:

Considered by many in racing to be the “real deal”, Tavo (C.T.) Hellmund has built the kind of reputation as a winner in all types of racing cars that makes people believe that he has a bright future in NASCAR. Despite always under-funded efforts, he has proven he has what it takes by winning or leading consistently in the NASCAR Winston West Grand National Division, in NASCAR Late Models, in IMCA Modifieds and in various open wheel cars. He is college educated, speaks fluent Spanish and English, and is the creator of the highly acclaimed Safe & Sober program for high schools. He has even been commended by President George W. Bush. He is without a doubt the total package on and off the track, with only the lack of proper funding so far holding him back.

emphasis added by author.

Also, the Full Throttle Productions LP have thrown up a web site splash page in corroboration with the news. I also would like to give you an aerial view of the nearby current Thunder Hill facility that could be the location for a future F1 circuit development.

Now color me reactionary but the last time I checked, a modern F1 racing facility is measured in the 100’s of millions of dollars. While I am completely excited about the return of a USGP and assume that F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has done all the due diligence in vetting the financial viability to not only fund the promotion of an F1 race but to develop a circuit capable of sustaining a long-term race.

I am elated with the news that we will not be foisting F1 on to an oval track like Indy promting mind-numbing ROVAL action in the middle of America. Austin is a thriving city and a cosmopolitan, culturally sensitive oasis in Texas and should prove to be a good venue. They host the outrageously successful South by Southwest event each year. Austin is the home of some o he country’s most accomplished musicians and a fantastic live music scene.

I am, however, still sour about the Simon Gillett and Donington Park debacle. I recall a junior league promoter attempting to use a debenture plan to fund the renovation of Donington and only really succeeded in tearing the circuit up so bad that no one could use it.

We need to be prudent here folks. F1 is a different beast than hosting late model and modified races in the south. It is a logistic beast of nightmarish proportions. It consumes cash like a BP oil spill. It would be nice if I could hang my hat on the fact that Ecclestone (CVC) have looked at the proposal and agreed that funding is indeed in tact. But they told us that about Donington as well.

Let me be clear, I want a USGP. I would love to see it in Austin Texas. I shudder to think of another soulless Tilke track. I remain suspect until the facility is built, we know more about Tavo Hellmund and some plans for fiduciary responsibility is proven. Sorry folks, I love the idea and the passion is there but in the mean time, perhaps Indy should warm up the coffee just in case and play the role of America’s version of Silverstone at the 11th hour.


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