If the Grand Prix of America ever comes to fruition, it may be because of another group, not its current organizers.
Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has apparently had enough with Leo Hindery Jr. and his Port Imperial Racing Associates, telling Autoweek contributor Christian Sylt that PIRA is not only in breach of their race contract but that the group hasn’t paid him since a 2011 agreement was signed to bring F1 to New Jersey.
The Grand Prix of America has twice been dropped from the F1 calendar since that point and will not be on it for 2014. However, even though Ecclestone insists that he can take legal action against the organizers – noting that the Formula One Group lent PIRA $10 million to help with the race’s funding – he says he hasn’t because there are other groups eyeing a possible takeover of the race.
“I’ve kept it going because somebody might come up and there has been two or three people who are interested and are looking into it,” he said. “If anyone comes in today, they can have it.”
In the statement released by the organizers following the race’s dropping from the 2014 calendar, Ecclestone said that “I have no doubt we’ll be racing at Port Imperial in 2015.” According to Sylt, Ecclestone remains confident that the event can go off, even if it does indeed require a different promoter.
“All it needs is somebody serious to come up and say we will get behind this and make it happen,” he said. “I have given Hindery too much leeway. I wanted to believe that he would do it.”
The potential second event for Formula One in the United States has gone through multiple twists and turns in its short existence. Now, it appears it has reached yet another.