Monticello Motor Club (MMC), an Upstate New York racing circuit situated at the base of the Catskill Mountains, is believed to be in discussions with F1 marketable rights owner Bernie Ecclestone with regards to hosting the next American Grand Prix at the venue. The United States is yet to stage a GP since Indianapolis last did so in 2007 even though now, just over a fortnight after New Jersey decided to scrap plans for a nighttime street race, Monticello has emerged as a possible contender according to a letter exchanged between its President and members, seen by Autoweek.
Inside the next day, you may read that F1 is planning a return to the United States and has their sights on a particular location in New York: Monticello Motor Club,’ reads the letter, addressed to club members from Ari Strauss. It goes on to give details that Hermann Tilke, the preferred track architect of Ecclestone, has visited the track recently and that MMC has sustained to safe the supporting and support of local, state and federal politicians and organisations’.
Upstate New York is yet to be the scene of a Grand Prix since the popular Watkins Glen venue was in 1980, hosting the season-ending race which saw Australia’s Alan Jones and Williams clinch victory at the end of their triumphant season together.
The longest design – of which there are twelve – of the Monticello track is 4.1 miles long. The circuit was designed by driver Brian Redman with architect and engineer Bruce Hawkins and is located 90 minutes by car from downtown Manhattan. The nearest international airport is just ten minutes away.
The full letter from Ari Strauss to MMC members reads as follows:
Within the next day, you may read that Formula 1 is planning a return to the United States and has their sights on a special location in New York: Monticello Motor Club.
A few months ago, [MMC chairman] Bill McMichael and I met with Bernie Ecclestone, President/CEO of Formula One Management (FOM), and discussed the terms for an exclusive 10-year United States Grand Prix to be hosted at MMC.
Shortly thereafter, Hermann Tilke, the chief engineer and circuit designer for F1, spent time at MMC and confirmed that our track and surrounding properties, with some expansion and minor track modifications, is an excellent location for a Grand Prix. Since receiving a letter of understanding from FOM confirming their hope to bring the U.S. Grand Prix to Monticello, Bill and I have continued to secure the backing and support of local, state, and federal politicians and organisations.
If F1 comes to Monticello, our intent is to preserve MMC as, first and foremost, a private country club. Obviously, demand will accelerate as well as the initiation fee for new members. But securing F1 is like winning the Olympics, competition is fierce, and this is not a done deal. While the prospect of F1 at MMC is exciting, we remain focused on our core business: the club and its members.
At this juncture, we are simply honoured that F1 is considering our venue as the future, exclusive home for the U.S. Grand Prix. It would transform the region into one of the motorsports capitals of the world, bring thousands of jobs to Sullivan County, inject over $100M each year into the local economy, and place your private club in the company of famous racing circuits like Monza and Spa.