Austin’s not the only U.S. destination planning a Formula One auto race. A second F1 race, the Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial, will be run in New Jersey, starting in 2013. The race for the track being built southeast of Austin, the U.S. Formula One Grand Prix, is scheduled for November 2012. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says no public subsidies will be used for their race.
Austin’s F1 promoters have been counting on the possibility of millions of dollars from Texas’ Major Events Trust Fund. But attorney Bill Aleshire thinks the Austin race may become ineligible for that money, now that New Jersey is in the racing mix.
“Under our state statute, an event such as F1 is only eligible for public funding, if we--Texas--competes with other states in a highly competitive process, and the selection organization F1 selects the site in Texas as the quote 'sole site for the event' and quote 'the event is held not more than one time in any year; that’s what our state law says,” Aleshire told KUT.
Aleshire represented plaintiffs in a lawsuit that had been filed against the state comptroller trying to block funding for the race. That suit was withdrawn, after the Austin race date was changed from June to November 2012. Underlying that suit was the argument that this is poor time to use state funds for an auto race, especially after big budget cuts. Some state and local officials have touted the economic impacts the races are projected to have on Central Texas.