Approval delay threatens 2012 US GP

By on Friday, June 24, 2011

Jun.24 (GMM) A dark cloud of uncertainty has gathered above preparations for the 2012 US grand prix in Austin.

Shortly after it emerged that the Texas comptroller is being sued by a group of taxpayers over the Circuit of the Americas' state support, the Austin City Council met on Thursday to vote on the release of the funding.

But local news outlets KXAN, KVUE, YNN and the American Statesman report that the vote has been postponed for a week, by which time a new council member who is opposed to the F1 project may be able to cast the deciding vote.

"We felt we had support going into this meeting," said the F1 circuit's president Steve Sexton. "We thought we would get the necessary approval today to move forward, but any support is welcomed and encouraged.

"For a $300 million economic project, we would hope to gain support certainly next Wednesday and move on," he added.

The F1 project's lawyer Richard Suttle admitted he is also nervous.

"I can't say it any more emphatically that we are now nervous from a daily basis. If you push it, it gives us great trepidation on this thing pulling off," he said.

Suttle added during the meeting that a delay is "a major concern", while Austin mayor Lee Leffingwell said it could "kill the project".

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