Ecclestone raises New Jersey doubts but organizers remain positive

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Bernie Ecclestone says next year’s planned grand prix in New Jersey could still go ahead but warned the promoters won’t be given any more help to make the race happen.

Ecclestone told Adam Cooper: “We’ve been mucking around and waiting long enough. We’ve compromised enough.”

“We sent them 10 million to pay some of their debts, and keep the doors open, so we’re a little bit serious”

Ecclestone said F1 remains keen to put on the race: “If they can comply with the contract, we want to be there. If they come to me next week, and show they have complied with whatever it should be, it’s alright. They’ve got to finish the circuit, so they need to pay, and they need to comply with the conditions for us.”

However the mayor of West New York does not share Ecclestone’s doubts. Felix Roque told NJ.com: “As far as we are concerned, the race is still on.

“[Construction crews] are working diligently on Boulevard East, getting curbs and sidewalks done… They are out there today.”

And promoter Leo Hindery Jnr told GP Update there were no concerns over getting the track ready: “The only obstacles in front of us now are execution, they’re not structural.”

“The course never changed its configuration from the time we first identified it. It’s been clearly and frequently vetted by [FIA race director] Charlie [Whiting] and his colleagues on behalf of the teams.”

The race on the banks of the Hudson river was originally supposed to take place last June, but was pushed back to next season due to delays getting the venue ready.

“In a difficult financial market it became clear late last fall, really early in the winter that we would not make 2013,” Hindery added.

Fernando Alonso confirmed for Toyota LMP1 test in Bahrain

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SAKHIR, Bahrain – Fernando Alonso will take his first step towards a possible entry to the 24 Hours of Le Mans when he tests an LMP1 car for Toyota on Sunday at the Bahrain International Circuit.

McLaren Formula 1 driver and two-time world champion Alonso is hoping to appear at Le Mans next year as part of his bid to become just the second man in history to complete the ‘Triple Crown of Motorsport’.

Alonso has already completed one leg by winning the Monaco Grand Prix twice, and made his debut at the Indianapolis 500 in May with McLaren-Honda-Andretti, retiring late on due to an engine failure.

Momentum is building for Alonso to make his Le Mans debut with Toyota in 2018, starting with a first sports car run-out in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s end-of-season rookie test in Bahrain on Sunday.

Alonso arrived in Bahrain on Saturday to watch the six-hour WEC race as an invited guest of the Bahraini royal family, with his participation in the test being confirmed after the race.

“We are very excited that Fernando will test our car. When he visited us in Cologne everyone who met him could sense his enthusiasm and passion for our sport; he is a true racer,” Toyota Gazoo Racing team president Hisatake Murata said.

“We very much respect his interest in different forms of motorsport and it is a pleasure to offer him this chance to drive a hybrid LMP1 car. It will be interesting to hear his feedback on the TS050 Hybrid.”

Alonso will share running in the Toyota car with 19-year-old Thomas Laurent, who received a test as a prize for his star display during his rookie WEC campaign this year, while regular Toyota racer Mike Conway will also complete laps.