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.

Montoya: ‘Hopefully I get a chance to do Indy again’ (VIDEO)

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Juan Pablo Montoya is on site at this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, his latest trip in a summer and fall filled with a lot of international travel and a number of different race cars he’s been in.

Montoya is committed to a full season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with Acura Team Penske in 2018, as he’ll share one of the team’s Acura ARX-05s with Dane Cameron.

However, the question of whether he’ll be able to race in the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil remains.

Team Penske has said it plans to only run four cars next month of May, with Helio Castroneves as the fourth driver alongside the three full-time cars driven by Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power.

While Montoya has said elsewhere that he’s shopping offers and has talked with other teams, it’d be highly surprising to see the two-time Indianapolis 500 champion who developed the Chevrolet engine for IndyCar’s 2018 Dallara universal body kit in a Honda-powered IndyCar, although he is running Honda’s brand (Acura) in sports cars.

Montoya elaborated on his Indy 500 prospects in an interview with NBCSN pit reporter and insider Will Buxton at the Circuit of The Americas.

“Not full-time no,” Montoya told NBCSN of his IndyCar 2018 prospects. “Hopefully I get a chance to go to Indy, hopefully with Penske, (and) if not someone else. We’ll see.”

Photo: IndyCar

Montoya has extolled the early testing both on the 2018 IndyCar and on the Acura ARX-05.

The first Acura chassis has run at Road Atlanta and Sebring International Raceway thus far, and will be put through its paces at other venues over the next few months.

“It’s been good. We did a lot of work with INDYCAR on that car. Fans are gonna like it,” Montoya said of the 2018 kit.

“Going to IMSA with the Acura program, we’ve done a lot of testing. It’s a beauty to drive. It drives better than what it looks! I haven’t had that much fun driving a race car in a long time.”

Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototype international (DPi) race car to be campaigned by Team Penske in 2018