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F1 Back On? 'Looking Good'

Sources close to track say race will be on 2012 calendar

By Richard Whittaker, 9:06PM, Tue. Dec. 6, 2011

F1 Back On? 'Looking Good'
Photo by Richard Whittaker

With the Formula One 2012 calendar within hours of being locked, sources close to Austin's Circuit of the Americas are telling the Chronicle that chances for the inaugural Austin race are "looking good."

The FIA World Motor Sports Council is scheduled to confirm the calendar in New Delhi tomorrow: Add in the time zones and this could make it a real 11th hour announcement.

Autoweek has heard the same thing, and has more details (and some speculation) on the complex contract negotiations. What we know is that there was a complex fight between project innovator Tavo Hellmund and financier Bobby Epstein, and this has endangered the race to the point that F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone had threatened to pull the plug. Now the question is whether the contract is between F1 and Hellmund's Full Throttle Productions or Epstein's track management group.

We're still waiting to hear what this means for the MotoGP and V8 Supercar series scheduled to start in Austin in 2013. Watch particularly for how this all affects MotoGP, especially since it was Hellmund that opened the door for the bike races through his good friend, former world champ Kevin Schwantz.

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