Second update: At 4 p.m. ET, SPEED.com will stream live coverage of today’s press conference in Austin, Tex., being conducted by the organizers of the U.S. Grand Prix. In addition, SPEED will offer a special edition of SPEED Center this evening at 8 p.m. ET with Formula One host Bob Varsha reporting from Austin. To connect with the live stream, click here
There is supposed to be an announcement of some sort coming today about the U.S. Grand Prix at Austin, Tex., in 2012 (and if, indeed, there is such an announcement, I will update this blog) but when I went nosing around last night to try to find out what it might be, I came up pretty much empty.
Having said that, I found this really interesting:
Austin is the capital of Texas, a university city (the Texas Longhorns play there) that is the cultural and economic centre of the state.
It’s no wonder, then, that the city will be the site – they say – of next year’s Grand Prix. Why? Because it’s above all the other forms of motorsport, it seems.
The Austin American-Statesman is the big daily newspaper in that city. You can read it at statesman.com. If you put your cursor over "sports," you get football, baseball, hockey, basketball and so-on. You get Formula One but there is no other motorsport mentioned (that I could find, anyway).
Which is kind of strange, when you think about it. NASCAR had two huge races at Texas Motor Speedway at the weekend – the Sprint Cup and the Nationwide – and the Sprint Cup was a sellout: 180,000 (which is a bigger crowd than even the Longhorns attract).
Not a mention.
The Formula One page had two stories of interest – how the county might set up a tax financing district to pay for roads in and out of the new circuit and the possibility that a hotel might be built at the site, eventually.
But not exactly front-page news.
Speed Channel’s Bob Varsha has travelled to Austin for the announcement. Let’s hope there is substance, and not just another public-relations exercise that we came to associate with the U.S. F1 Racing Team. (Remember that?)
Or a certain, proposed, 65,000-seat speedway in the Niagara region, right next to the QEW, which is now – reportedly – on hold.
An OMB pre-hearing was scheduled for last Friday but was postponed until further notice, the Niagara Falls Review reported.
According to Fort Erie Mayor Doug Martin, "there are a number of outstanding housekeeping things that need to be cleared up before a hearing can begin" and the time and date of such a hearing are now up to "staff and representatives of Canadian Motor Speedway."
First Update: Longhorns would consider moving football game if it clashes with GP. Details