United States GP wins Sports Event of the Year award

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The 2012 United States Grand Prix has been awarded the prestigious Sports Event of the Year award at the SportsBusiness Journal/Daily Business Awards, which was held in New York last night.

The race was attended by over 265,000 fans, and the atmosphere was complimented by all of the drivers and teams in Austin. The track has quickly become a firm favorite among the fans and the F1 establishment thanks to its unique layout and undulations, and this award only furthers the credentials that the race can now boast.

Steve Sexton, president of the Circuit of the Americas, accepted the award at the ceremony last night.

“From the very beginning, there was some doubt whether our project would happen, but we hustled and we had a great team and a great group of owners behind us the whole way,” Sexton said. “We embarked on a nine-month journey, pulled the construction together, pulled the race off amidst a lot of complicated logistics, and had a great group of fans. I’m really proud of the team that pulled this off.”

The race marked Formula One’s return to the United States after a five year absence, and the success of the event has led to the approval of a second race in New Jersey for 2014, and rumors suggest that the sport could even return to Long Beach in the near future.

COTA will host its second United States Grand Prix on November 17 this year, and the track has also hosted V8 Supercars and Moto GP in recent weeks, both of which have gone down as huge successes.

Andretti Autosport picks James Hinchcliffe for last 3 races of season

Andretti Autosport James Hinchcliffe
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James Hinchcliffe will finish the NTT IndyCar Series season for Andretti Autosport, replacing Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda.

The team made the announcement Friday afternoon that Hinchcliffe will return after racing for Andretti at Texas Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Indianapolis 500.

Hinchcliffe, who also has worked as an IndyCar on NBC analyst and pit reporter, will race in the Oct. 2-3 doubleheader race weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida.

“It’s always unfortunate to have to change drivers this far into a season, but we have to look at finishing the year the best we can for the 26 team and start evaluating and looking at options for 2021,” team owner Michael Andretti said in a release. “James has an existing relationship with our team that we’d love to build on and it makes the most sense for him to step in for these last three races. We are looking forward to seeing what he can do.”

Hinchcliffe has a season-best finish of seventh in the Indy 500. He had been working on trying to put together a deal for next season after scrambling to secure a partial schedule this year when he lost his ride at Arrow McLaren SP after 2020 with a year left on his deal.

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“I know, probably better than most, what Zach is feeling right now, and I have to say that he has handled everything about as class act as you can,” Hinchcliffe said. “I’ve known Zach as a teammate, before that as a colleague and even before that as a friend, and he is a guy that I respect in every way. I know he is a fighter and will fight back to where he wants to be.

“For me now, my focus is 100% on racing the Harvest GP and getting the best possible results for Gainbridge, for Honda, for Michael and for the team. I obviously haven’t been on a road course in a while, but at least the last time I was, it was here at IMS! Hopefully that puts us in a good position to go out there and have a strong weekend.”