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US Grand Prix organisers insist 2012 race is not in doubt

The circuit layout of the Austin circuit
The layout for Austin's US Grand Prix circuit includes more than 20 corners

Organisers of the United States Grand Prix at a new site in Austin, Texas insist the race will go ahead in 2012.

Rumours surfaced in the paddock during last weekend's Singapore Grand Prix that the event was already in doubt.

But Formula 1 United States spokesman Adam Goldman told BBC Sport:"Tremendous progress is being made on the circuit in Austin, Texas.

"The project team and community look forward to hosting the F1 United States Grand Prix in 2012."

BBC pundit Martin Brundle raised the issue during the Formula 1 forum after Sunday's race in Singapore, amid rumours the local authorities had not been properly consulted over the plans and with fears over road links to the site which is expected to attract 120,000 fans.

But Goldman insisted all the relevant bodies are on board and work is due to start in December.

"We are working with the State of Texas, City of Austin and Travis County to break ground on the project by the end of the year," he said.

Local media reports in Austin suggested it would need £9.5m ($15m) of road improvements to guarantee clearing people from the site within three hours and there is a feeling it is unlikely this can be completed in time for the race in 2012.

606: DEBATE
Kai FT

But after a delegation visited this year's British Grand Prix at Silverstone, which had a history of transport problems until road improvements were carried out, the organisers have brought in a number of specialists to look at traffic management, including Graham Lake-Grange, a former member of the Silverstone circuit senior management team.

Joe Gieselman, manager of Travis County's Transportation and Natural Resources Department, said: "Local officials are concerned that the two-lane roads to the selected F1 site in Austin do not have the capacity to serve a 120,000-person event, and that there are neither the funds nor sufficient time to make approach road improvements prior to the first race in 2012.

"In response, the Austin F1 sponsor hired Kimley-Horn & Associates, who prepared a transportation plan for the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas, and Graham Lake-Granges, director of Valleta Events Solutions, the English firm that analysed the traffic at UK's Silverstone's track, to look at the Austin site.

"Austin officials will work with these firms to find solutions to potential traffic problems."

The 3.4-mile Hermann Tilke-designed circuit will cost an estimated £115m ($180m) to build with the Formula 1 event expected to generate £190m ($300m) for the local economy each year, as well as job opportunities.

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone agreed a deal for the Texas capital to host a race until 2021 and, for the first time, a venue for the US Grand Prix will be purpose-built.

The last US Grand Prix took place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana in 2007, a race won by McLaren's Lewis Hamilton.

Its eight-year run was ended after Ecclestone failed to come to an agreement with the circuit's chiefs over new terms.

Watkins Glen in upstate New York, Long Beach, California, Las Vegas, Detroit, Dallas and Phoenix have all hosted F1 races in the past.



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see also
Design for US GP circuit unveiled
01 Sep 10 |  Formula 1
US back on F1 calendar from 2012
25 May 10 |  Formula 1
Ecclestone fearful over Korean GP
27 Sep 10 |  Formula 1
Flawless Alonso wins in Singapore
26 Sep 10 |  Formula 1


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