Since yesterday's announcement that Austin will host Formula One Grand Prix racing and build a "world-class facility purpose-built to host the event," the city has been racing with excitement, rumors and questions about the news.

F1 officials and promoters Full Throttle Productions 
announced Tuesday, May 25,  that Austin was chosen to serve as the host city for the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix from 2012 through 2021. The story sped through the city and the state with what appears to be bipartisan support.

Here's the update: Since last week, some new developments include the selection of German engineering firm Tilke GmbH as the track designer and a 500-mile-plus site along the  State Highway 130 cooridor east of town as "a likely assumption" for the new track's home.

I don't think I've ever seen the same story posted so repeatedly in my personal Facebook feed. And those posts were not limited to just "moto" friends or auto enthusiasts.

The story made today's the front page of the Austin American-Statesman, our hometown daily, at least twice above the fold. And just about every real estate and biz journal ran with it. One local racer called the news not just national, but "international buzz."

For those who may wonder what the big deal is, Austin Mayor Lee Leffinngwell sums it up best in today's Statesman article. He calls the deal a game-changer for Austin, and told reporter John Maher: "We expect every hotel from San Antonio to Temple will be full. This will solidify our standing as an international city. Hundreds of millions of people also see the broadcast, and those who don't know about Austin will."

As for a rendering of the facility and confirmation of the exact site, details are still emerging. Preliminary estimates put the cost at around $250 million. This has caused some head scratching. Some question how the facility will be funded. The Texas Major Events Trust Fund will provide a $25-million, per-year state government incentive offer, according to a report in the
Austin Business Journal.Gov. Rick Perry and the Office of the State Comptroller pledged the funds in a letter to F1's CEO in April. The comptroller's office negotiated the deal at the state level, according to the governor's office. State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, who authored legislation that would make F1 an eligible event, told reports the economic impact is "almost as big as a Super Bowl, and that's every year."

All told, it seems taxpayers, and city and state officials are ready to put the pedal to the metal.

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