Thursday, December 18, 2014

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British Grand Prix gives city leaders preview of economic impact

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TWC News: British Grand Prix gives city leaders preview of economic impact
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The British Grand Prix has screamed into the English countryside and Austin leaders who were watching said they're impressed by its impact.

Organizers at Silverstone Circuit estimate more than 120,000 people from around the world made the trip to watch the two-hour race Sunday.

Kevin Milner may not race around the track at 200 mph, but Formula 1 is his business. As the owner of Go Race Events, he’s followed the impact of the elite racing organization.

"The difference with F1, I suppose, as we see it from the European side of things, is most of the vehicles we drive on the road have benefited from F1," he said.

Milner says some of those benefits include anti-lock brakes and airbags. Developed in Europe, they're now standard equipment on nearly every vehicle worldwide. A lot of those engineering advances grow out of places like the Silverstone Innovation Centre.

Several Formula 1 teams are based out of Silverstone year round, focusing on research and development of what many call the world's most sophisticated racecar.

Austin leaders hope for a similar impact around Circuit of the Americas.

"What we hope to do—in addition to having the Formula 1 race—is to utilize the track itself, to build similar to what Silverstone has done here," Austin’s Economic Development Deputy Director Rodney Gonzales said. "We certainly want to begin those negotiations—not negotiations, but those discussions—with racecar teams like Renault, McLaren and Ferrari about how they might be able to replicate some of those R&D facilities in Austin."

Formula One comes to Circuit of the Americas in Southeast Travis County Nov. 16, 17 and 18. It will be the first U.S. Grand Prix since Indianapolis in 2007.

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