MotoGP may not hit Texas in 2013

2013 race in doubt as organisers halt construction over contract disputes

CONSTRUCTION at the Circuit of Americas in Austin, Texas has been halted over contract issues, casting doubts over its addition to the 2013 MotoGP calendar.

The fallout has all stemmed from contract negotiations relating to the F1 race which was due to be held there in 2012.

Circuit organisers in charge of building the new venue have decided to stop construction after a falling-out with promoters, Full Throttle Productions. Bernie Ecclestone has now said the F1 race won't be happening in 2012, as the £16m sanctioning fee due to be paid to him by the Texas state government has not been paid.

The project will continue when a new contract has been agreed upon for the circuit organisers, including a guarantee that the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix will be held at Circuit of The Americas in 2012. Kevin Schwantz was pivotal in securing a 10-year deal for the Circuit of Americas to host a round of the MotoGP championship from 2013.

Bobby Epstein, founding partner of the Circuit of the Americas, said: "We have spent tremendous resources preparing for the Formula 1 and MotoGP Championship races, but the failure to deliver race contracts gives us great concern.

"We believe the United States is vital for the future of Formula 1 and its teams and sponsors. Given the purpose-built Tilke design, creating a unique fan experience and iconic challenge for drivers, we hope that Texas will not be left behind. More than 100,000 fans have expressed an interest in purchasing tickets for Formula 1 alone."

Race promoters, Full Throttle Productions released a subsequent statement: "After years of effort in getting F1 to Austin, Full Throttle Productions and city, county and state officials have done all we could. It is the responsibility of Circuit of the Americas to bring it across the finish line. For the sake of everyone, we are hopeful that they can reach an agreement with Formula 1."

"We've done everything we bloody well can to make this race happen," said Ecclestone.

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