Circuit of The Americas has issued a bold statement on this Thanksgiving holiday: we have the cash to pay Formula One Management's 2012 race sanctioning fee and we've met the contractual requirements to proceed with our race. Now, it appears that the ball is in Bernie's court to countersign the contract. Here is the release:
Circuit of The Americas Ready to Pay Sanctioning Fee and Offering More
Proposal Satisfies 2012 Request, Accelerates Payments for Subsequent Years
AUSTIN, Texas - November 24, 2011 - Circuit of The Americas has responded to Formula One Management's contract requirements by agreeing to an immediate cash payment of the sanctioning fee for the 2012 United States Grand Prix (USGP). In addition, Circuit of The Americas has offered to establish an advance payment schedule for USGP races beyond 2012. The offer comes after several weeks of talks, and once accepted, will secure the USGP on the Formula 1 race calendar.
"We have been ready to send Mr. Ecclestone a sanctioning fee check for some time now," said Bobby Epstein, founding partner of Circuit of The Americas. "He hasn't received it yet because the new contract presented to us two weeks ago contained unrealistic and unfeasible demands. We have signed and returned a contract similar to what we anticipated receiving. This race should be a reality, but if we are going to make the 2012 race date, we must receive a countersignature in the coming few days. We believe the teams, fans, sponsors and local business share our enthusiasm and hope that their voices will be heard."
We have been anticipating Bernie to make an announcement about our Austin Grand Prix this weekend, during the last race of the 2011 season from the Brazilian Grand Prix.
What is most interesting to us is that COTA has confirmed the viability to pay the 2012 race sanctioning fee immediately with $25 million in cash. You will recall, that the Comptroller of the State of Texas, Susan Combs, recently retracted her offer to pay Formula One Management its $25 million sanctioning fee in advance of the race. She explains the change of events in an interview with local Austin news channel KVUE; you can watch the unedited version of the video by clicking here.
How will Bernie respond? What role is Tavo playing going forward? With the recent halt in construction, is it feasible for us to finish the track in time for our slated November 18, 2012 race date? These are still real questions that will be answered in due time, but we feel reassured that our investors have answered Bernie's recent demands by committing the payment and contract.
As Will Buxton told us all back in June, we all want the 2012 race to happen, so let's MAKE IT HAPPEN!
Don't forget, we have our last downtown watch party of the 2011 season back at Six Lounge this Sunday. We'll kick things off at 1:30 PM with food from Pluckers Wing Bar and drink specials from Red Bull and Pepe Z Tequila. Come ready to race because Robert DeGroff will have his ever popular iRacing simulator on hand for guests to take for a spin.
Hope to see you all this Sunday, and Happy Thanksgiving to our American friends!