The US Grand Prix in Austin has less than three weeks to sort out financial troubles or else it will be absolutely cancelled. Speed's reporting that the race contract is gone, $25 million has dried up, and the track can't get a letter of credit. Prospects look grim.
Bernie Ecclestone, head puppeteer of the F1 circus, declared that the contract with race promoter Tavo Hellmund's Full Throttle Productions got cancelled six months ago after an unspecified breach of contract. In an interview with the UK's Press Association, Ecclestone reviewed the agreement with Full Throttle Productions, saying,
Everything was signed and sealed, but we kept putting things off like the dates, various letters of credit and things that should have been sent, but nothing ever happened.
The owners of the Circuit of the America track itself stepped up in Hellmund's place, but are as yet unable to provide Ecclestone and Formula One a letter of credit. Without this letter of credit, the Austin track can't prove it can run the event, so F1 won't offer them a contract.
It looks like the circuit can't get their letter of credit as the Texas Major Events Trust Fund is no longer guaranteeing the $25 million needed to fund F1's sanctioning fee. With the FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting in India scheduled for December 7th, the organizers in Austin have less than three weeks to get their letter of credit or the US Grand Prix will be just another chapter in the history of bungled F1 promotion attempts.
Photo Credit: Kevin McCauley