Updated 07/27/2010 03:28 PM
New F1 track site to be built in southeast Travis County
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The Formula 1 United States Grand Prix race track will be built on 900 acres in southeast Travis County near Elroy. The primary entrance to the track will be off FM 812.
Organizers confirmed the information Tuesday morning at a Formula 1 press conference.
Red McCombs, who founded the Red McCombs Automotive Group, was identified as a key investor backing the project. McCombs is the former owner of the San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Vikings. He is also the namesake of the business school at the University of Texas.
McCombs said he will name the multi-million dollar facility "Speed City."
"All of us want to go faster," he said. "Speed is something people like to be involved with."
Austin will be the first U.S. city to have a facility built specifically for Grand Prix racing. The city will host the race track from 2012 to 2021.
"This is a lot more than just a race," Tavo Hellmund of Full Throttle Productions said. "This is about hosting one of the great true treasures in the world of sports."
The track will accommodate other events and have a relationship with surrounding universities, Hellmund added.
The German firm Tilke has been hired to design the venue. Tilke has built racetracks in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Shanghai and Istanbul among other cities.
Right now in Elroy, things move at their own pace, but that’s about to change.
"It's in a desired development zone," Texas Comptroller Susan Combs said. "I think you're going to see that part east of I-35 having a huge economic impact for folks out there. Land values will go up."
Wyman "Wild Buba" Gilliam runs the town's burger joint. He specializes in wild game. While on the surface the town may lack the glamor of Monaco or Abu Dahbi, Gilliam said the area is ready to welcome the world.
"You can ride around and see the rolling hills and the prairies and the mesquite, so exotic is what it is," he said. "With the track you'll have retail development, you'll have hotels, shopping centers, you'll have space for laboratories, bigger warehouse operations and room to grow.”
Formula 1 hasn't raced in the U.S. since 2007 after an eight-year run at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.