Chris Pook joins GP of America at Port Imperial executive team

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Chris Pook, the original architect of North America’s most successful street race in Long Beach, Calif., will join the executive team for the planned second Formula One round in the U.S. for 2014.

Pook has been named special assistant to chairman Leo Hindery, Jr., for the Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial, set to premiere in June 2014 in Weehawken, N.J. The race was originally announced for June 2013, but was postponed a year.

The executive team for Port Imperial includes YES Network founder Hindery, sports and entertainment veteran Dennis Robinson, and sports marketing and corporate development specialist Dick Goldschmidt. Pook will provide consultation on all aspects of construction, planning and execution of this race.

“Chris has a history of great success in Formula 1, which I’m confident he’ll bring to the Grand Prix of America race,” Formula One CEO Bernie Ecclestone said in a statement. “We look forward to working with him to bring F1 racing to New Jersey and New York.”

Pook’s name brings more legitimacy to the Port Imperial project, with rumors swirling from at least one reporter that Long Beach, incidentally, possibly could be back in play for F1.  In an article posted by SPEED.com’s Marshall Pruett, Grand Prix Association of Long Beach officials including longtime race president Jim Michaelian vehemently shot down those rumors.

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

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Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”