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New Jersey F1 race may be postponed again

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Leo Hindery Jr. is executive chairman of the race's promoter.
Leo Hindery Jr. is executive chairman of the race's promoter. - ()

The Formula One race planned for northern New Jersey appears to be heading for a third postponement, with reports saying the highly touted event won't come to the Hudson waterfront until 2016 at the earliest.

As new rumors swirled that organizers had stumbled yet again, the owner of the proposed racing site told The Record on Thursday that there was “no possibility” that the race would happen by next summer. The event, announced in fall 2011 by organizers and Gov. Chris Christie, would create a 3.2-mile course through the Port Imperial community in Weehawken and West New York, but has been delayed twice amid funding shortfalls and other hurdles for its planners.

The comment to The Record by Carl Goldberg, of Mack-Cali Realty Corp.’s Roseland subsidiary, came after Formula One commercial chief Bernie Ecclestone reignited doubts about the New Jersey race. In a story published Thursday afternoon, Ecclestone told Forbes that 2015 was now off the table.

“Somebody said to me the other day that New Jersey seem(s) to have got their act together now and that they have got the money and are all in good shape,” Ecclestone said. “Whether or not that is true I don’t know. The soonest it could come on the calendar is 2016.”

The eccentric chief executive has made such comments before, going back to 2012 – prompting rumors that turned out to be true in two consecutive years. The race was originally scheduled for June 2013 – and then June 2014 – but was postponed each time.

“Our team is dedicated to bringing the inaugural Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial to the New York-New Jersey region as soon as possible,” said Leo Hindery Jr., executive chairman of the promoter. “We are currently balancing the sport’s own timing demands with other considerations like building our road course without tapping any public funds.”

The race has brought great anticipation since first being announced on the Hudson waterfront nearly three years ago, with expectations of drawing more than 100,000 over three days. This debut 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, creating an event that would generate international buzz and an economic windfall for the state.

In previous postponements, organizers have cited construction setbacks and the difficulty of putting together such an event without tapping into public money.


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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. Email him at joshb@njbiz.com.

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