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Austin F1 race still on track for 2012

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TWC News: Austin F1 race still on track for 2012
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Austin is on the calendar for next year’s Formula 1 Race.

The F1 schedule was approved early Wednesday morning at a World Motor Sport Council meeting in New Delhi, India.

Formula 1’s governing body announced the “calendar was confirmed as previously published.” There were questions as to whether financing would be in place for a race on U.S. soil, but according to the race schedule, the U.S. Grand Prix will take place Nov. 16-18, 2012 in southeast Travis County.

"We have a deal with Formula 1 and the world’s fastest cars will be racing over this track," Circuit of the Americas (CotA) President Steve Sexton said.

Construction at the multi-million dollar race track stalled last month after contract negotiations between race promoters and Formula One fell apart.

"We do have an agreement and the agreement calls for a 10 year run of Formula 1 here as the United States Grand Prix," Jeff Hahn with CotA said.

Kevin and Kerri Olsen interact with race fans from around the world on their website They say the response to a 2012 race here has been overwhelmingly positive and that Austin is the perfect city to host a Formula 1 race.

"It's about a culture that breeds innovation and technology and we're really lucky to have this in such a forward thinking city. I think it's a perfect partnership,” Kerri said.

Wyman Gilliam with Wild Bubba's Wild Game Grill, a restaurant located near the new racetrack, says the race is just what the area needs.

"This project will be the catalyst that gets southeast Travis County going," he said. "It's good for me here and it's good for everybody that has a business, it's good for property owners but more importantly it places Austin on the global stage."

The Circuit of the Americas says it will take a little more than a week to get the 300 or so workers working on the facility again.

Statement from the office of Comptroller Susan Combs:

“The news of a Formula 1 race moving forward is good news for construction workers going back to their jobs in Elroy this holiday season. While there is a 10 year agreement between Circuit of the Americas and Formula One, the state is not bound by that agreement.

Each year the Major Events Trust Fund application process must start over and a new application is needed. If and when we receive an application for the Major Events Trust Fund it will be reviewed and analyzed for its economic impact, like any other application. The state of Texas will not pay any funds in advance of a race.”

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