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Formula 1 Track Construction 'Suspended Immediately'

Photo Courtesy of Full Throttle Productions

UPDATE 5:15 p.m.: The race organizer, Full Throttle Productions, released a statement via email late Tuesday afternoon: “After years of effort in getting F1 to Austin, Full Throttle Productions and city, county and state officials have done all we could. It is the responsibility of Circuit of the Americas to bring it across the finish line. For the sake of everyone, we are hopeful that they can reach an agreement with Formula 1.”

A contract dispute between race promoters and circuit officials has led to the immediate suspension of construction on the Circuit of the Americas racetrack in southeastern Travis County.  In a statement issued this afternoon, Circuit of the Americas officials said construction will not continue “until a contract assuring the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix will be held at Circuit of The Americas in 2012 is complete.”

This development comes on the heels of Texas Comptroller Susan Combs’ office issuing a statement of its own this morning, declaring that “the state of Texas will not be paying any funds in advance of the event.” The State Legislature has already authorized spending $25 million annually for up to 10 years to subsidize Formula 1 in Texas. But, according to Combs, none of that money has been spent.  And none will be spent in advance of a race.

This is the latest in the ongoing U.S. Formula 1 saga.  F1 C.E.O. Bernie Ecclestone grabbed headlines over the weekend when he told Reuters in Abu Dhabi that, regarding Austin, he “wouldn't want to put my money down that that will happen."  The first U.S. Grand Prix race in Austin is supposed to take place on November 18, 2012.

Read the entire statement from Circuit of the Americans.

Read the statement from the Comptroller's office.