Nancy Knapp Schilke
Tom Cotter will return to his marketing company after nearly seven months of being at the helm of the New Jersey Grand Prix of America project. Cotter took on the president position in January, 2012, and still believes that the 2013 FIA Formula One race will happen; despite recent comments from Formula One Management CEO Bernie Ecclestone.
Taking a leadership role for any world class sporting event has never been easy, and the hours one consumes may have taken its toll on Cotter. In a statement to the New York Times, Cotter said, "I have full faith in the Grand Prix of America team and look forward to sitting in the grandstands at a world-class race in 2013.”
We're all thankful for Tom's leadership in bringing Formula 1 to Port Imperial.
Ecclestone recently indicated he had doubts that the Grand Prix of America organization will “finish on time”! He has said the same before for many new venues. The Formula One race in New Jersey has the breathtaking views of the New York City skyline and the organizers are dealing with the same cutting of teeth that others have dealt with: Long Beach, Phoenix, Detroit, and currently Austin. The race in Texas will be on a permanent road course; while the New Jersey on will be on a temporary street circuit.
In June of this year, Ecclestone stated when asked by the BCC if the event would happen. His reply was "No. Definitely, no." But then he claimed “If they can get it (the circuit) completed and confirm to us it will be done, for sure, they'll be on the calendar."
Following the Canadian Grand Prix, reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel arrived at the site of the 2013 grand prix for a promotional visit. "The circuit is not anywhere near close to being ready,” he said.
Joining Vettel was David Coulthard who drives the Red Bull special event F1 car. Both drivers were able to drive road cars on the curves of the propose layout. Coulthard added, "They think they're ahead of schedule. They're talking about 12 months from now, but it's a lot of work -- the road is so bowed in the middle."
Stepping up to the position on a temporary base will be the event’s Chief of Operations Engineer Dennis Robinson, and Richard Goldschmidt, the special assistant to race promoter Leo Hindery Jr.
Hindery Jr. commented: "We're all thankful for Tom's leadership in bringing Formula 1 to Port Imperial. During his stewardship we've made great progress and are less than a year away from the sport's top racers speeding around a street course with New York City in the background."