Fake rain a brilliant idea says US GP boss

Tavo Hellmund (USA) Austin Grand Prix Promoter with the Construction team. Austin Grand Prix Circuit Construction, Austin, Texas, USA, January 2011.

Tavo Hellmund (middle) at the US GP track construction site

Mar.8 (GMM) 2012 US grand prix organiser Tavo Hellmund has admitted he thinks Bernie Ecclestone’s idea to spice up formula one with artificial rain is “brilliant”.

F1 chief executive Ecclestone said it would be “easy” to ready the irrigation systems at “a number of tracks”, and one of them could be the venue currently under construction in Texas.

The Austin American Statesman reports that Hellmund thinks the idea is “brilliant”, adding that wet weather racing is “spectacular” and “compelling” that allows “true talent” to shine.

He also said the system was viable for Texas because construction of the track “is in the beginning stages”.

And Hellmund might be able to afford such a system, after it emerged that organisers have received $12.5 million from ten private investors.

But the Securities and Exchange Commission filing “did not give specifics about how the money would be used and gave no information about the investors”, said the newspaper.

The publication also said a mid-year debut date for the US grand prix next season, paired with the other North American race in Canada, is likely.

  • Bec

    Austin like the proposed Bulgarian track is to be used for automotive research, and as such being able to wet the track on demand is highly desirable, but whether introducing this into actual racing is another idea … But then they said that about night races, maybe one track like Austin could be a wet/dry race like Abu Dhabi is a day/night race.

    Some people say it’s artificial, but what exactly in natural about racing F1 cars around a purpose built track in the first place?

    I’m not keen on the idea, but I don’t have a close mind either.

  • Anthony

    I would not attend Austin as originally planned if they implement this idea. I can not grasp why the artificially wet races concept is gaining so much traction. I think reevaluating the track layouts and who is designing them may be a better approach.

  • Jeff

    I agree with Anthony. Tilke has made millions off of F1 by designing track after track where there are few if any passing zones. I sometimes have to wonder how Bernie made all his millions with such little insight into real solutions to real problems.

  • Bec

    But Tilke designed Bahrain which has substantially more passing than both Monza ans Suzuka.

  • http://Comcast.net tony sullivan

    trying to make F1 more dangerous to satisfy the promoters and not the racing enthusiates is not a sane idea – we cold put impregnable roll cages around them and let them smash each other around (ala Nascar)