New Jersey officials reach deal to bring Formula One racing to the state

Story highlights

  • Formula One will begin in New Jersey in 2013, sources say
  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie expects it to be an economic boon
  • Austin, Texas, will host an annual Grand Prix from 2012 through 2021
New Jersey drivers, long the butt of bad driver jokes, will soon give up some of their roadways to professional racers, as state officials have reached an agreement to bring Formula One racing to the Garden State.
The 10-year deal will begin in June 2013, a source familiar with the venture told CNN.
Two sources said that Formula One, considered the world's premiere racing circuit, will be taking to the streets of Weehawken and West New York, New Jersey.
The route of the race featuring open cockpit, high-tech cars traveling more than 200 mph would begin in Weehawken at the beginning of JFK Boulevard East and go north, with spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop, before turning right down 60th street in West New York to River Road where drivers would head south, back toward Weehawken.
A press conference to announce the details of the deal will be held Tuesday in Weehawken. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner and West New York Mayor Felix Roque are expected to attend.
The race course should be ideal for Formula One as it combines the sport's characteristic right turns and elevation changes and, unlike the auto racing most Americans are used to, generally features less passing and fewer crashes.
Austin, Texas, meanwhile, will host the annual United States Grand Prix for the sport beginning November 2012 and continuing through 2021 -- making it the first U.S. city in 30 years to have a multi-year deal with Formula One.
The last U.S. city to have such a deal was Watkins Glen, New York. Since then, Formula One has been hosted by Long Beach, Las Vegas, Detroit, Dallas and Phoenix all on temporary street circuits.
Michael Drewniak, a spokesman for Christie, said the governor expects Formula One's arrival to bring "a significant economic and tourism boom for our state."