A Texan billionaire is on of the main investors behind plans to bring the United States GP to Austin in 2012.
Red McCombs made his fortune as a car dealer and as a co-founder of Clear Channel, but he is best known in his home country as a former owner of both the San Antonio Spurs and Denver Nuggets basketball teams as well as the Minnesota Vikings NFL team. He had no knowledge of Formula 1 until Austin promoter Tavo Hellmund persuaded him to come on board.
McCombs insists that he loves any form of competition – but has also made it clear that he doesn’t intend to lose money on the deal. “We intend to make this a very proﬁtable venture,” he said. “We have to raise a lot of capital, and we shall try to sell that same idea to other people coming into the venture with us.”
Hellmund has revealed the site of the new circuit, which is based on a hillside and has a view of downtown Austin. However, red tape means he is unlikely to start construction on the $180 million Tilke-designed project before the end of the year.
Hellmund has tried to justify the race locally by claiming that it will bring $300m a year to the city.