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Report: COTA chairman casts serious doubt on future of USGP in Austin

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Likely cuts from the state of Texas to Circuit of The Americas to help pay for the United States Grand Prix in Austin may place the race in jeopardy going forward.

A report out late Tuesday night from the Austin American-Statesman indicated that officials from Gov. Greg Abbott’s office will cut the state’s contribution amount from $25 million – which it had been in 2012, 2013 and 2014 – to closer to $19.5 million in 2015.

This news comes on the back of a previous Statesman report where COTA chairman Bobby Epstein called this year’s race “financially devastating.” Miserable weather Friday and Saturday significantly hurt attendance and more crucially, all the other dollars spent besides just tickets – such as concessions and apparel.

Epstein then managed to produce quite possibly the one-liner of the year later in the report, albeit a line you really don’t want to read or hear.

“To use a technical term, I think we’re screwed,” Epstein said, via the Statesman.

COTA – and the funds appropriated to it via the state of Texas – has long been a political football going back even to the track’s first year in 2012.

Either way, stay tuned. It seemingly wouldn’t be a USGP without its future being in question.

Video highlights from Stage 12 of Dakar Rally, 2 stages remain

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Thursday’s Stage 12 of the 40th Dakar Rally not only closed the overall standings gap in at least two classes (cars and trucks), two other classes (bikes and quads) failed to get going due to weather conditions.

The full video highlights of Stage 12 will air on NBCSN on Friday at 7 pm ET, but here are some of the highlights from Thursday’s action:

CARS

2018 Dakar Rally: Nasser Al-Attiyah wins Stage 12 of cars

BIKES

 Stage 12 cancelled due to weather conditions

 

TRUCKS

Ton van Genugten edged out Martin Kolomy in Stage of, while Federico Villagra and Eduard Nikolaev both faced an uphill battle to finish fourth and third respectively.

QUADS

Even though the Quads were also impacted by weather issues on Thursday, Ignacio Casale, the 2014 Dakar winner, continues to make his case for a second overall victory in the quads.