F1 New Jersey

Uncertainty over New Jersey GP grows

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Fresh doubt has been cast on the proposed Grand Prix of America after Bernie Ecclestone stated last night that the race may not go ahead next season due to financial problems.

The grand prix is planned to take place in New Jersey, becoming the second American race on the calendar after the United States Grand Prix returned at the newly-built Circuit of the Americas last season. However, Ecclestone doubts that the event will go ahead.

“It’s not on the cards for next year,” Ecclestone is quoted as stating by CNN. “They haven’t got any money.”

Speculation about the race has been rife for the past few months. New Jersey was initially set to join the calendar in 2013, but it was postponed to give the promoters sufficient time to prepare. However, without sufficient funding, it is likely that the event would be postponed once again until 2015. The congested calendar for next season has not aided matters as Austria returns for the first time since 2003 and Russia prepares for its inaugural grand prix.

Taking Formula One to the New York/New Jersey area has been a long-standing desire for Bernie Ecclestone, suggesting that even if the race does not go ahead as planned in 2014, efforts will still be made in the future to hold a second race in the U.S.

Race promoter Leo Hindery Jr has been adamant that the race will go ahead, stating earlier this year that he had a fifteen-year deal signed with the sport. However, without sufficient backing, races are always at risk of falling off the calendar.

Caterham reserve driver Alexander Rossi spoke exclusively to MotorSportsTalk last month about the prospect of a second home race, expressing his excitement over the race and calling the proposed circuit “Monza on the city streets.” However, it appears that the drivers will have to wait a bit longer to tackle the Port Imperial circuit.

NHRA: New book a celebration of life, love and drag racing

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The overpowering smell from nitromethane that powers Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars in the National Hot Rod Association oftentimes brings fans to tears after getting a whiff of the stuff.

Now there’s a new inspirational book that will also bring tears to the eyes of die-hard drag racing fans.

Veteran crew chief Jim Oberhofer has released “Top Fuel For Life, Life Lessons From A Crew Chief,” a touching homage to both his late wife and persevering and overcoming adversity in the highly competitive world of NHRA drag racing.

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Oberhofer wears a number of hats as vice president of one of the sport’s most veteran and successful teams, Kalitta Motorsports, including serving as crew chief for Top Fuel driver Doug Kalitta’s dragster.

Oberhofer relates a number of stories about overcoming adversity in the book, but none more touching than how he watched his beloved wife “Tammy O” lose a long and painful battle to stage 4 metastatic lung cancer.

While Oberhofer has spent his life using wrenches and tools working on 10,000-horsepower engines, his new book shows that he is also a very gifted writer.

Known in the sport as “Jim O,” Oberhofer describes the fight his wife went through in gritty and descriptive prose, but with a foundation built upon what the love of his life meant to him – and continues to mean to him more than two years since she passed away.

“When you take a long hard look at your life, I guarantee you that being a winner has little to do with crossing the finish line,” Oberhofer said. “After many mistakes and a whole lot of heartache, I learned that happiness comes from a deeper, simpler place. That’s the big win.”

“Top Fuel For Life” is available on Amazon for $19.95.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Report: Ecclestone believes F1 could be sold by year’s end

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Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone on Tuesday said the racing series is up for sale and has as many as three potential buyers.

Ecclestone told The Associated Press that a deal could still be struck by year’s end.

“I think so, maybe this year,” Ecclestone said. “There are three people mentioned to buy. So it’s a case of whether CVC or Mr. Mackenzie wants to sell.”

Ecclestone was referring to F1’s largest and controlling shareholder, CVC Capital Partners co-chairman Donald Mackenzie.

But even if F1 is sold, the 84-year-old Eccelstone doesn’t plan on going anywhere.

“The people that I’ve spoken to … have asked me if I would stay,” Ecclestone told AP.

Follow @JerryBonkowski