New Jersey race ready for 2014

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The proposed Grand Prix in New Jersey is on track to go ahead in 2014 according to its promoter, Leo Hindery Jr.

“We are back under construction. We have the consents in place that we didn’t have last fall, and we will quite comfortably put the race on, now probably in the mid-year of 2014 with support.”

This ‘support’ is that of Bernie Ecclestone, who is keen to see a second race in the USA following the success of last year’s United States Grand Prix at the newly-built Circuit of the Americas.

Hindery Jr also spoke about the difficulties in organizing a street race.

“There are two civil engineering pieces that still need attention. One is the obvious one in that the course itself has to be paved to take out any crowns in the roadway, make it perfectly flat, and then Charlie Whiting and his associates demand a quality of asphalt paving that’s very, very high end.

“We were on track, I thought, pretty well for June 2013, and, to be frank, we couldn’t get all of the approvals necessary, most especially right around the river itself. Here in the U.S., water ways are the responsibility of multiple jurisdictions. We have now all of those consents.”

The race, expected to be known as the Grand Prix of America, will go back-to-back with the Canadian Grand Prix next season. With Formula One attempting the break the American market once again, a second race in the space of three years may appear to be a risk. However, the overwhelming reaction to the race in Austin last year makes the prospect of a second race in the United States a highly exciting one for Formula One.

Porsche pulls GTLM cars from Mid-Ohio because of COVID-19 positives

Porsche Mid-Ohio COVID-19
David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Porsche will skip Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race with its two GTLM cars at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after three positive COVID-19 tests were confirmed during the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

That resulted in Porsche choosing to pull out of the Nurburgring 24 Hour endurance race in Germany, electing to avoid sending any team members as a precautionary measure.

Porsche Motorsport announced Tuesday that its COVID-19 decision also would apply at Mid-Ohio to its No. 911 and No. 12 teams.

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Three of Porsche’s four IMSA GTLM drivers — Laurens Vanthoor, Frederic Makowiecki and Nick Tandy — also were racing in Le Mans. The trio has remained isolated in Europe and won’t be allowed to travel.

“Based on yesterday’s decision that no employee or racing driver of our Le Mans team will participate in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, we have today decided that this ruling will also apply to the upcoming IWSC race in Mid-Ohio,” Fritz Enzinger, vice president for Porsche Motorsport, said in a release. “This means that Laurens, Nick and Fred will not be traveling to the USA.

“This is very regrettable, but we would like to emphasize that in this case as well the health of all those concerned is the prime focus of the decisions we have taken.”

The decision also affects Earl Bamber, who teamed with Vanthoor to win the GTLM championship last year in the No. 912.

Porsche said its GTLM Porsche 911 RSR-19 entries will return for the Oct. 10 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.

That will reduce the GTLM class to four cars — two Corvettes and two BMWs — this weekend at Mid-Ohio, in what could be somewhat of a 2021 preview. Porsche Motorsport announced earlier this year that it will leave IMSA after the 2020 season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.