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It's official: No F1 in New Jersey in 2014, organizers turn to 2015

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Leo Hindery Jr., speaking at the New America Foundation's 'A Vision for Economic Renewal' event on July 22, 2011.
Leo Hindery Jr., speaking at the New America Foundation's 'A Vision for Economic Renewal' event on July 22, 2011. - (New America Foundation / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

The long-rumored postponement of New Jersey's Formula One race was made official Wednesday, marking the second straight year the race did not make it to the starting line.

Organizers said they're now focused on ensuring that financing woes won't wreck a 2015 debut.

In a news release, promoters of the Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial pointed to "the challenge of completing the intricate financial structure for the event," which has been slated for a 3.2-mile course in Weehawken and West New York.

"Our entire management team and our supporters in New Jersey, New York and throughout the Formula One community obviously want to see the inaugural Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial take place as soon as possible," Leo Hindery Jr., the group's executive chairman, said in a prepare statement. "Bringing a world-class race to the world's largest media market is a huge undertaking that has required balancing construction of our road course, without tapping any public money, with the sport's own timing demands."

NJBIZ reported last month that organizers had turned their attention to 2015.

Bernie Ecclestone, the F1 chief executive who has openly discussed the postponement for months, said he still looked forward to launching the event next year.

"There is great demand for a race in New Jersey and I have no doubt we'll be racing at Port Imperial in 2015," he said, also in a prepared statement. "New races can take many years to get started, but there is significant momentum and we are close to realizing a New York City F1 race."

The announcement comes after a meeting in Paris of the international governing body for auto racing, which on Wednesday finalized the 2014 F1 calendar. The New Jersey race was placed on a provisional schedule in September, but came with an asterisk for the second straight year amid uncertainty about organizers' ability to finance it.

The debut, originally slated for this past June, was first scrapped last fall. Organizers were insistent again this year that it would come to fruition in 2014, but doubts continued to swirl for most of the year.

The race has brought great anticipation since first being announced in late 2011, with expectations of drawing more than 100,000 to the three-day event. This year's race was meant to kick off a multiyear string of consecutive Grand Prix events on the Hudson waterfront with the New York City skyline as a backdrop.

Ed. note: Redditor shillingINtheNAMEof points out a N.J. F1 stop has been the works for more than 30 years.

Photo altered and used courtesy the New America Foundation.


 
 

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Joshua Burd

Joshua Burd

Josh Burd covers real estate, economic development and sports and entertainment. Before joining NJBIZ in 2011, he spent four years as a metro reporter in Central Jersey. His email is joshb@njbiz.com and he is @JoshBurdNJ on Twitter.

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