The structure for a new all-American Formula One team is being steadily pieced together in the United States with the target of being ready for the 2010 grand prix season.
Team USF1 is intended to be a showcase for American technology and an opportunity for US-born drivers.
Rumoured to be launched officially in the coming weeks, Team USF1 is largely the work of Australian-born Peter Windsor, the prominent motor sports journalist and TV commentator, and Ken Anderson, the American design engineer who was technical director at the Ligier F1 team in the late 1980s, and also had a stint with Onyx F1.
Anderson's extensive IndyCar and NASCAR experience embraced Ganassi Racing and AJ Foyt Racing. He also designed the G-Force IRL car that carried Arie Luyundyk to victory in the 1997 Indy 500.
Windsor once worked for Williams as team manager, but is better known today for his media work which includes SpeedTV and filing stories on F1 for the Ten Network in Australia.
"I've been working with Ken Anderson in my spare time over the past four years, looking into putting an F1 team together with the car designed and built in the US," Windsor told Wheelsmag.com.au.
"Along the way, Armageddon came along and the rules changed to about where we were planning to be in the first place. Bottom line: it is much, much cheaper to design and build in the US rather than in Europe and the F1 calendar these days is 50 percent flyaway.
"Since 2005 we have managed to secure the wind tunnel, CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics), manufacturing and design facilities and we will be based on the same tech campus as Speed TV's new hi-def facility in North Charlotte."
The wannabe F1 team has locked in place an agreement to use the new full-scale Windshear wind tunnel in North Carolina, a facility partly owned by Anderson.
Team USF1 will have the slogan 'Made In America' and be based in Charlotte, the heart of NASCAR (and home to Roger Penske's Indycar team).
"Since news of our project was leaked we've been inundated with support not only from the US public but also from other F1 sponsors and F1 team owners," said Windsor, who became interested in motor sport as a kid at Sydney's Warwick Farm.
According to German website motorsport-total.com, Team USF1 has the sanction of Bernie Ecclestone. And why not? The F1 grid will be down to 18 cars if the Honda team doesn't reappear in another form for the '09 Australian Grand Prix.
F1 doesn't currently have a race in North America and an American team could be just the trigger to encourage a US promoter to take the gamble.
While it is pertinent ask why Windsor and Anderson didn't take the easy and cheaper approach and buy the defunct Honda team, this was apparently not an option - USF1 was well advanced when Honda pulled the plug and in any case Windsor and Anderson have adopted the Made in America credo.
If we ignore the global downturn, it is now easier for new independent teams to enter the world championship following the decision by the F1 teams association that every participating manufacturer will supply customer engines for 5 million Euros per season (with gearboxes a 1.5 million Euro ask).
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