Chris Pook, the original architect of North America’s most successful street race in Long Beach, Calif., will join the executive team for the planned second Formula One round in the U.S. for 2014.
Pook has been named special assistant to chairman Leo Hindery, Jr., for the Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial, set to premiere in June 2014 in Weehawken, N.J. The race was originally announced for June 2013, but was postponed a year.
The executive team for Port Imperial includes YES Network founder Hindery, sports and entertainment veteran Dennis Robinson, and sports marketing and corporate development specialist Dick Goldschmidt. Pook will provide consultation on all aspects of construction, planning and execution of this race.
“Chris has a history of great success in Formula 1, which I’m confident he’ll bring to the Grand Prix of America race,” Formula One CEO Bernie Ecclestone said in a statement. “We look forward to working with him to bring F1 racing to New Jersey and New York.”
Pook’s name brings more legitimacy to the Port Imperial project, with rumors swirling from at least one reporter that Long Beach, incidentally, possibly could be back in play for F1. In an article posted by SPEED.com’s Marshall Pruett, Grand Prix Association of Long Beach officials including longtime race president Jim Michaelian vehemently shot down those rumors.
Bad news continues to come out of the Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki team as they announced Jo Shimoda injured his shoulder in a practice session and will not mount up when the Monster Energy Supercross 250 East division opens in Houston, Texas on February 4. A timetable has not been given for Shimoda’s return, but a press release from the team references multiple weeks.
“I’m doing my best to focus forward on my return to racing,” said Shimoda in the release. “Our goal was to compete for the 250 Supercross Eastern Regional Championship and I know we had been doing the right work to make that happen. Unfortunately, this crash will cause me to miss the start of the season, but I still aim to be back on the track racing for wins before the end of Supercross.”
Shimoda is joined on the sidelines by teammates Seth Hammaker and Austin Forkner, who also suffered injuries in recent weeks.
The news of Hammaker’s sidelining came just two days ago. His wrist injury is sufficient to require surgery, so he too will miss multiple weeks. Hammaker was scheduled to compete in the 250 East division alongside Shimoda.
Forkner was involved in a Lap 1 crash in the 250 West season opener at Anaheim. Multiple injuries, including an ACL tear, will sideline him for the remainder of the season. He described the injury and its aftermath on Instagram.
Forkner will be relieved by Carson Mumford, but not before that rider’s wrist has healed sufficiently. He is scheduled to debut with Kawasaki in Oakland for the rescheduled Round 2 Supercross race on February 18.
Shimoda finished fourth in the 2022 Supercross 250 West division and was second in 2021 points in 250 East. In 2021, Shimoda won his first Supercross race at Salt Lake City. Last year, he scored one podium and six top-fives in nine starts.
Shimoda finished second in last year’s outdoor Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season, where he added two more SuperMotocross wins including the Unadilla Nationals that kicked off a four-race streak of first- or second-place results.
Kawasaki is not the only team facing injury. Red Bull KTM initially reported Marvin Musquin would be out for the San Diego round with a wrist injury and “maybe more”. This week it was announced he will miss this week’s Triple Crown race in Anaheim and “at least the next several rounds.”