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Hellmund working on new GP project in North America

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American businessman Tavo Hellmund has revealed to NBCSN that he is working on a new project that will bring another Formula 1 race to North America.

Hellmund was the mastermind behind the formation of the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, and the return of the Mexican Grand Prix at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, which hosts its first F1 race since 1992 this weekend.

Speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton on Friday, Hellmund revealed that he is working on some new projects, one of which involves bringing another grand prix to North America.

“We’re looking at a project that’s probably two weeks away from being able to talk about it, then looking also maybe making an investment with a team, but right now, we need to make sure that the Mexican Grand Prix goes well,” he said.

When pressed for where the new race would be, Hellmund said: “It would be North America.”

Hellmund’s comments come less than one week after F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone hinted that a new race in the United States was being worked on, telling Sky Sports that “we’re going to have to go California way” for a second American round.

Hellmund made no secret of his pride when talking about the Mexican Grand Prix’s return to the calendar, particularly with his father hailing from Mexico.

“You know, when the cars first left pit road for FP1, I literally started crying because of my Dad’s history here,” Hellmund said.

“What we had to do in the past 16 months, it was very emotional. It was just a really special moment. This is where the grand prix has always been.

“We looked at doing it in Cancun. Bernie really was keen on that, but when I told him what it would look like here once it was finished with the stadium section, he got excited and I think he’s pleased now.”

Supercross points leader Eli Tomac finds silver linings in interruption

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Though his Monster Energy AMA Supercross championship charge was put on hold, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had a silver lining for Eli Tomac.

Off the road while the season was postponed for nearly three months, the points leader was able to be present as his girlfriend, Jessica, gave birth to their daughter, Lev, on April 26

“A huge blessing for us there,” Tomac told host Mike Tirico during a “Lunch Talk Live” interview (click on the video above) in which he also joked about becoming a pro at busting off diaper changes. “That was one good blessing for us as we had our daughter on a Sunday, that would have been on a travel day coming back from the race in Las Vegas.

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“That was probably the only positive out of all this mess was being able to be there for the birth.”

But there also could be more good fortune for Tomac as the series resumes Sunday at Salt Lake City, Utah (3-4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, 4-6 p.m. on NBC).

The final seven events will be held over 22 days in Rice-Eccles Stadium, which sits at just over 4,000 feet.

The elevation could favor Tomac, who was born and lives in Colorado and is accustomed to riding and training at altitude, which is a departure for many Supercross riders (many of whom hail from California and Florida).

COVID-19 TESTING REQUIRED: Supercross outlines protocols for last seven races

“That’s going to be the test for us,” said the Kawasaki rider, who five of the first 10 races this season. “We’re at elevation in Salt Lake, so when you’re on a motorcycle, you have a little bit of a loss of power. That’s just what happens when you come up in elevation. And a lot of guys train at sea level, and we’re at 4,000 to 5,000 feet, so cardio-wise, we’ll be pushed to the limit.

“Most of our races are Saturday nights and back to back weeks, but this go around it’s Sunday and Wednesday, so recovery is going to be key.”

Supercross will race Sunday and Wednesday for the next three weeks, capping the season with the June 21 finale, which also will be shown on NBCSN from 3-4:30 p.m. ET and NBC from 4:30-6 p.m. ET.

Tomac, who holds a three-point lead over Ken Roczen (who also recently visited “Lunch Talk Live”), told Tirico he had been riding for 90 minutes Thursday morning on a track outside Salt Lake City.

“Most of us we can rely on our past riding pretty well,” Tomac said. “The question is if you can go the distance. That’s what a lot of guys have to train on is going the distance. We go 20 minutes plus a lap. That’s what you’ve got to keep sharp is your general muscles. Within two to three days, your brain starts warming up more if you take a few weeks off the motorcycle.”

Here is the schedule and TV information for the rest of the season:

  • Sunday, May 31 (3-4 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4-6 p.m. ET, NBC);
  • Wednesday, June 3 ( 10:00 pm – 1:00 am ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 7 (5-8:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Wednesday, June 10 (7–10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 14 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Wednesday, June 17 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 21 (3-4:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. ET, NBC).
Eli Tomac rides his No. 3 Kawasaki in the Feb. 29 race at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia (Charles Mitchell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).