Formula One set for U.S. comeback

May 26, 2010

Formula One auto racing plans to return to the U.S. in 2012 after a five-year absence with an event at a track in Austin, Texas. The last Formula One race in the U.S. was at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2007.

The London-based series owned by CVC Capital Partners Ltd. said on its website late yesterday that it reached a 10-year accord with sports event promoter Full Throttle Productions LP in Austin to organize the race.

Financial terms, the planned costs of the yet-to-be-built racetrack and its exact location weren’t disclosed. Bahrain has invested as much as $300 million to build a circuit to host Formula One since 2004.

It will be the first time a U.S. venue is built “from the ground up” for Formula One, series CEO Bernie Ecclestone told the website.

Mercedes team Chief Executive Nick Fry and others have since called for a return to the U.S. to help carmakers competing in the series to promote their brands.

All 12 Formula One teams are based in Europe. Charlotte, N.C.-based USF1, scheduled to become the first U.S.- based team since the 1970s, failed to raise financial backing to start the season in March.

The announcement ends speculation over whether Formula One would return to Indianapolis. IBJ reported earlier this year that New York, Indianapolis and other cities were among the possible sites targeted by Ecclestone.


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