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Formula One

U.S. GP Confirmed at COTA and Taylor Swift to Perform There

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It’s hard to determine what the biggest news is coming out of Austin, Texas. Officials of the United States Formula One Grand Prix announced that the race will go on as scheduled on Oct. 23.

No one could be happier with the news than the start-up American-owned, HaasF1 team.

“It’s very important to have a race on home soil,” team principal Guenther Steiner told POPULAR OPEN WHEEL. “It helps cultivate a fan base that not only follows Haas F1 Team, but Formula One as a whole.

“Austin has become a destination city in the paddock, and COTA is a very nice facility. It has a good, challenging layout that really showcases the abilities of our drivers and the technology of our cars. We’re looking forward to racing there.”

And there’s another big development for the benefit of fans. At the same time it was announced that pop music megastar, Taylor Swift, will perform at the track named Circuit of the Americas (COTA).

That development may have an even bigger impact on attendance.

“We could advertise that F1 is coming to every person in the country but only a million people would care,” COTA chairman, Bobby Epstein, told Forbes.com. “However, a hundred million in the U.S. know Taylor Swift.”

The latest news obliterates a veil of uncertainty at the 3.427-mile motor racing facility.

When the Formula One schedule was published last year the event was listed with an asterisk and words to the effect of “to be confirmed.”

Then there were months of speculation that the organizers wouldn’t be able to pay the FIA’s sanction fee. Everything was cleared up at the press conference on Wednesday.

EMAIL LEWIS AT lewis.franck@popularspeed.com

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Lewis Franck

In a career spanning over thirty years, Lewis Franck, a former New York attorney, has covered motorsports first as a photographer working for magazines such as Sport Magazine and magazines in Europe. Subsequently switching to writing Franck had a monthly column in Inside Sports, and later worked regularly for Sports Illustrated and ESPN the Magazine. He's been a weekly columnist for Sports Illustrated's website and blogs and moderated chats at ESPN.com. Currently, he's a motorsports contributor at Reuters and Autoweek. And now a guest host on SiriusXM/NASCAR and guest PRN's Pit Reporters. An award-winning journalist; he’s written thousands of articles for magazines, newspapers and websites around the world. He’s also currently a US-based motorsports writer for Reuters newswire. In addition to published work, he’s been the color commentator, in Australia, for the local television broadcast of the Surfers Paradise Indy car race. Franck has appeared on the NBC Nightly News, television panel shows and dozens of radio appearances. He’s also a past Eastern Vice President of the American Auto Racing Writer’s and Broadcasters Association. In addition, he handled public relations for the Driver of the Year Award.

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