Formula One coming to New Jersey in 2013

10/25/2011 1:04:34 PM

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and the mayors of the New Jersey cities Weehawken and West New York were among those present for the F1 race announcement made on Tuesday at the Port Imperial Ferry Terminal in Weehawken.

The F1 race, to be named the Grand Prix of America at Port Imperial, will be contested on a 3.2-mile street circuit that runs along the banks of the Hudson River in Weehawken and West New York. The Manhattan skyline will be its backdrop.

"Beginning in 2013, Formula One will be here for three days for a 3.2-mile road race right here, the Port Imperial and the Palisades in West New York and Weehawken," Christie said during the announcement. "You can expect upwards of 100,000 people to attend over the three days, beginning with practice on Friday, the qualifier on Saturday and then the race on Sunday.

"People from all over the world will be coming to New Jersey to see this race and this unique and exciting course that is a part of our state."

West New York Mayor Felix Roque labeled the upcoming race as "the second miracle on the Hudson." Roque was referring to the U.S. Airways Flight 1549 which successfully landed on the Hudson River after being struck by a flock of geese shortly after taking off from New York's LaGuardia Airport on January 15, 2009.

Hudson County Executive Thomas DeGise and former Charlotte Motor Speedway president and general manager H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler also participated in the announcement.

"I couldn't have conceived a better course than this one here," he said. "I've got to tell you, I spent four years off and on looking for a place to build a track for NASCAR or whoever up in this area, and I missed this one completely."

Wheeler will serve as an advisor for the event.

"I have no doubts that this is going to be one best marquee racing events in history," he added.

The United States will have two F1 grand prix in 2013 and beyond. F1 is returning to the U.S. in November 2012 at Circuit of the Americas, located in Austin, TX.

F1 has not competed in the U.S. since 2007.

The USGP was first held in 1961 on the Watkins Glen, NY. road course. Watkins Glen hosted the race until 1980. Long Beach, CA, Las Vegas, Detroit, Dallas and Phoenix were host cities until Indianapolis Motor Speedway added a road course inside its famed 2.5-mile oval and held the event from 2000-07. Lewis Hamilton from McLaren won the last USGP.