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Formula One close to a deal for a race in Las Vegas

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Formula One close to a deal for a race in Las Vegas
By:
Oct 18, 2014, 1:30 AM

F1 would return for the first time since it failed there in 1982.

Beautiful Las Vegas
Hermann Tilke
Bernie Ecclestone
Beautiful Las Vegas by night

An investment and management group is deeply involved in bringing a Formula One street race back to Las Vegas, Nevada.

A course has already been identified, and the company headed by, and named for, Formula One track designer Herman Tilke has already visited the site. The group has also had preliminary discussions with F1 czar Bernie Ecclestone about a Las Vegas race.

The last F1 race in Las Vegas was in 1982, won by Michele Alboreto in a Tyrrell. The last street race in Las Vegas was in 2007, when the dying Champ Car series held a race in the Fremont area at the northern end of the Strip on a 2.44-mile course that ran on Easter Sunday. The race was actually quite good and the track layout was logical and accessible to fans. Champ Car soon folded, so the race was one-and-done.

Holding a race at the northern end of the Strip, in Las Vegas proper, ensured that major casino traffic was not affected, and that the city would pitch in and make the race happen. The majority of the Strip is actually outside the city limits.

Caesars Palace era

The Caesars Palace Grand Prix was an F1 race in 1981 and 1982 run on a track set up in the casino parking lot. The crowds were dismal, and after 1982, and the race won by Michele Alboreto, few believed F1 would return. They did not, but CART kept the Grand Prix going for a couple more years.

The race would likely not be any earlier than 2017, since Mexico City is debuting its new F1 race next year. But sources say that a 2016 date for Las Vegas, while optimistic, is not impossible.

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