Uncertainty over New Jersey GP grows

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Fresh doubt has been cast on the proposed Grand Prix of America after Bernie Ecclestone stated last night that the race may not go ahead next season due to financial problems.

The grand prix is planned to take place in New Jersey, becoming the second American race on the calendar after the United States Grand Prix returned at the newly-built Circuit of the Americas last season. However, Ecclestone doubts that the event will go ahead.

“It’s not on the cards for next year,” Ecclestone is quoted as stating by CNN. “They haven’t got any money.”

Speculation about the race has been rife for the past few months. New Jersey was initially set to join the calendar in 2013, but it was postponed to give the promoters sufficient time to prepare. However, without sufficient funding, it is likely that the event would be postponed once again until 2015. The congested calendar for next season has not aided matters as Austria returns for the first time since 2003 and Russia prepares for its inaugural grand prix.

Taking Formula One to the New York/New Jersey area has been a long-standing desire for Bernie Ecclestone, suggesting that even if the race does not go ahead as planned in 2014, efforts will still be made in the future to hold a second race in the U.S.

Race promoter Leo Hindery Jr has been adamant that the race will go ahead, stating earlier this year that he had a fifteen-year deal signed with the sport. However, without sufficient backing, races are always at risk of falling off the calendar.

Caterham reserve driver Alexander Rossi spoke exclusively to MotorSportsTalk last month about the prospect of a second home race, expressing his excitement over the race and calling the proposed circuit “Monza on the city streets.” However, it appears that the drivers will have to wait a bit longer to tackle the Port Imperial circuit.

Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
Barry Chin / Getty Images
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Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

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Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.