COTA chief would like to see motorcycle racing in US GP support bill

F1 is set for the largest three-day weekend attendance in its history this weekend in Austin, with an estimated 440,000 fans set to attend the United States Grand Prix.

The F1 race is supported by Masters Historic and Masters Endurance Legends events, but the schedule was left empty after the W Series had to cancel its planned round in Austin due to funding issues.

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Asked about the possibility of having other supporting series like F2 or F3 in the F1 weekend in the future, COTA chairman and co-founder Bobby Epstein said it was “more up to Formula 1” to decide.

But he expressed interest in shaking up the weekend racing schedule by adding other disciplines such as motorcycle racing.

“We can fill it any way, two or three support sets would be good,” Epstein said.

“Which would be great. If it can’t be an F2 or F3, I think we can be creative.

“I would love to see the motorcycle race during the F1 weekend. I think it would be really fun and I think the fans would like it, so we’re exploring that.”

Alex Albon, Williams FW44, Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-22

Photo by: Mark Sutton/Motorsport Images

One of the biggest hurdles to overcome for a weekend of multi-discipline racing would be ensuring that safety regulations for both cars and motorcycles are met, given the different homologation requirements of the tracks.

Epstein felt there were “ways to look at it” but said the focus of any support category had to be on ensuring fans were kept entertained by the weekend package.

“This is what it’s all about, let’s make sure we entertain the crowd,” he said.

“I also don’t want to leave out the racing fan. So what you’re talking about is asking the right question and making sure we have the content that satisfies that audience.

“I think there was some disappointment that the W Series didn’t come, but it was such a short time that we couldn’t replace it.

“But I do think that, overall, fans still get their money’s worth.”

COTA hosts the MotoGP Grand Prix of the Americas every year, but Epstein said his idea of ​​a motorcycle race supporting F1 doesn’t necessarily have to be the premier class.

“It doesn’t have to be MotoGP, it could be bikes, which would be good for MotoGP, because it would give them a good platform,” Epstein said.

Jack Miller, Ducati Team

Jack Miller, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose/Motorsport Images

“Just other types of racing. In the past, if you go back, [F1 has] made some great celebrity careers. That is something we have to consider.

“It could be fun. I think F1 attracts celebrities and attracts celebrities and it hasn’t been done in a long time. These are all worthy of discussion.

“If Formula 3 or Formula 2 comes, it will probably be even better.”

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