If you thought Formula One racing had a checkered history in America, well – you're right. Over the years, the United States Grand Prix has been held in more locations and has suffered from more hiatuses than a drug addicted musician's touring schedule. But a good portion of that drama has been played out in New York. Upstate, Watkins Glen hosted the United States Grand Prix for longer than any other single location, but the past few decades have also seen efforts to bring an F1 race to New York City.
That idea first came up in the early 80s, but seemed to have gained more traction in recent years. As you may recall, a bid was floated a couple of years ago to build a circuit at Liberty State Park (the piece of New Jersey extending behind the Statue of Liberty), but that failed after local residents protested the idea and the race was awarded instead to the Circuit of the Americas being built in Austin, Texas. Then a new project came up that would see an F1 race – backed by private investment instead of public funds – held between the New Jersey municipalities of Weehawken and West New York that would be easily accessible from the city while offering the Manhattan skyline as the backdrop.
The Wall Street Journal now reports that the latter project has been approved and is set to be announced on Tuesday. The report further projects that the race is already scheduled for June 2013, joining the United States Grand Prix already set for Austin on the same calendar.
If that's the way things shake out, it won't be the first time the U.S. plays host to multiple F1 races in the same year, as two American grands prix were commonly held in the 1970s and 80s at such locations as Watkins Glen, Las Vegas, Dallas, Detroit and Long Beach, highlighted by the 1982 Formula One World Championship that actually featured three grands prix in the United States (plus a fourth in Canada).
While those races played with a variety of names, New York Grand Prix sounds about right to us. However the WSJ indicates that the Jersey race could take the name Grand Prix of America, while the Austin race is set to carry the name United States Grand Prix. Whatever they want to call it, F1 racing is poised for a big comeback on American shores.