Daily Archives: May 4, 2010

New York 2012 race plans revealed – and it may be at night

The planned circuit for the 2012 New York Grand Prix

The planned circuit for the 2012 New York Grand Prix

The plans for the 2012 New York Grand Prix have been revealed, which will be based around Liberty State Park.

The planned track is in Jersey City, is 5.79km (3.6 miles) long, and the event orgainsers have said that they plan to hold the event at night. However, the plan has already come under fire from a local environmental group.
The organisers had this to say:

"With the incredible backdrop of the New York City skyline,
selecting Jersey City for the 2012 Grand Prix Auto Race
Circuit will not only boost ticket sales as the Grand Prix
returns to the United States, but will providing striking
television footage. To maximize the dramatic effect, Jersey
City could possibly follow in Singapore’s footsteps by
holding the finals at night.

Pictured below is a generic circular circuit through Liberty
State Park, which covers a distance of 3.6 miles, the area
would provide the least impact to city functions, and the
greatest possible space to accommodate ticket holders. As
the park has 1,212 acres, with a significant portion dedicated
open space, amble viewing facilities can be erected, with the
potential to hold the largest spectator audience on record.

There are multiple ways to carve out the interior to make the
course challenging with tight turns, great straights, plenty of
options to place the pit, run off zones, team facilities, media
center, and of course the paddock area."

I’ll be blunt – I really don’t like the design. First of all, there is no proper straight, which would lead to absolute minimal overtaking from the start. Secondly, the south section of the track looks like a complete mess, kind of like Fuji Speedway. It just appears like a random sprawl of slow corners, with occasionally quick left-handers thrown in. I’d say that, in this location, this is the only layout that would be possible.

And thirdly, do they really think that they can just blast an F1 race into a national park? And I mean that quite literally – just look to the right of the Liberty Science Centre. The track plan is going straight through the park, and I can’t see the locals being too pleased with an F1 track in the middle of their park. Friends of Liberty State Park agree, saying:

"Whomever has proposed it to Formula I has no clue about the true 
purposes of LSP or about the park’s history of battles to protect 
public access. LSP is not a city property to rent out for the 
weekend and take away from public users who need it more than ever 
for the quality of their lives. LSP is a park for the people and 
is not a commercial venue. It’s arrogant for anyone to consider 
this use for our green haven."

And fourthly, the circuit orgainsers aren’t exactly doing all of the work themselves. Here is the list of what they want Formula One Managment (Bernie Ecclestone’s company) to do:

Planning, developing, logistics, marketing, and all necessary 
preparations to effectively carry out the event.
Structures for media center, paddock and VIP areas, temporary 
meeting rooms, security control tower, pit areas, team facilities, 
clubs, visitor welcome center, hospitality tent, and all other
necessary structures.
Providing ample portable facilities for visitors.
Obtaining all the necessary permits and licenses required to hold the event.
All equipment needed to stage the race as well as staffing.

I’m not a circuit planner, but isn’t that a massive amount of work they are trying to lob towards someone else? I also noticed something else – where are they going to put the pit lane, paddock and media centre? It’s a park, you can’t just exactly blast through it. And, how do they plan to illuminate the entire park and circuit at night?

There’s a lot that I’ve just given out about, but I just don’t feel that this plan can work. What do you think? Is it possible to hold a night race in the middle of a national park in a city?