Category Archives: Events

Around Austin from Town to Track this Week

The Start/Finish on Wednesday afternoon at Circuit of The Americas

After their first year together, Austin and Circuit of The Americas are ready to create a brand new season of F1 racing, events and experiences for fans from around the world.

To get a feel for what was different this year from last, a walk around the town and then the track yesterday left the distinct impression that this year is different, especially in Austin, a city that’s no stranger to world class events, and this year, no stranger to Formula 1.

Downtown welcomes F1 fans

The amount of signage around the airport has been reduced, but in town, buses, lamp posts and billboards remind you that F1 is still everywhere.   Downtown Austin is transforming with a sense of urgency and after a year of racing with over 1,000,000 guests at COTA and counting, F1 fans will again see the Austin Fan Fest arrive.  Larger than last year, the event will now include a dozen square blocks set aside for visitors between 2nd and 5th just West of Congress.

Importantly, local businesses have embraced the racing community, and this year there are more shops and stores showing they are ready for the world stage as fans arrive from across the globe to discover what Austin has to offer.

@delish bakery downtown

Evenings will be full of events with entire nightclubs in town that have made the trip to Austin for the weekend hosting drivers, celebrities and VIPs.  New to Austin this year, Amber Lounge will be celebrating their 10th anniversary as a nightspot along F1’s most glamorous races with dancing and DJs all weekend, while the W Austin and Red Bull will be putting together events for the circuit’s official after party on Sunday with drinks like the newly christened COTA Flame featuring locally made spirits with a kick.

These are just a sampling of events Austin has in store this weekend, and back at the main event, Circuit of The Americas looks and feels like a new experience altogether.  Gone are the signs of a hasty retreat by heavy equipment and artificial grass on hillsides as the circuit now stands proud on the horizon in the distance with real grass throughout the infield and spectator areas.

Having the seasoning and polish an entire year’s worth of improvement and events to showcase the vision behind COTA, the circuit truly is the racing circuit of the future, bringing the world together again for a weekend of world-class racing.  Here’s to wonderful Grand Prix weekend in Austin.

An international audience for F1 has arrived in Austin

For a self-guided tour of what’s been created on the track, you can take a look around COTA turn by turn with Google Maps to see what a driver’s office view looks like, and for a look at what’s happening around town, F1 Racing Magazine’s Fan Guide is downloadable (.pdf) from the American Statesman.

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Filed under Circuit of the Americas, Events, F1 in America, Uncategorized

A Visit to the Port Imperial Grand Prix Circuit Part 3: An Interactive Guide

This is the third article in a series on a visit to the Port Imperial Circuit from Manhattan’s Grand Central Station, you can follow ‘F1 in America’ on twitter and Facebook for regular updates on this story and more photographs.

Below is an interactive circuit map for the GP of America with photos and locations marked along the circuit length. Links in pop up image windows show full size picture. Circuit is based on the latest released layout featured in Part 1 of this story.

No plugin? Open this document in Google Maps.

Version 1.0


Filed under American F1 circuits, American F1 Events, American F1 history, Events, F1 in America, Formula 1 New Jersey, GP of America

V8 Supercars: A Crossover Hit in America

SPEED’s first ever live coverage of this year’s Bathurst 1000 V8 Supercar race recently introduced Americans to an exciting and competitive racing series abroad, while showcasing a stock car series that has great appeal with NASCAR and F1 fans alike.  In a country where NASCAR dominates motorsport headlines and broadcasts, V8 Supercars are positioned well between these two groups of fans in the US and make for plenty of new connections and conversation between them.

To cover the race, SPEED sent over NASCAR ambassador Darrell Waltrip to Australia, and their decision to do so was well rewarded before the race even began.  The stock car champion took the passenger seat for a hot lap around the 3.9 mile circuit in the right hand drive Holden of Jason Bright, an Australian who competed against Mark Webber in Formula Ford early in his career:

Darrell Waltrip on the ride of his life around Mount Panorama

In this video, if DW’s eyes didn’t tell the story of the ride in a V8 Supercar, his commentary did, and what he said certainly wouldn’t remind anyone of a race he called recently.  For fans of Formula 1, it was refreshing to see someone used to ovals experience the twists and hills normally associated with a grand prix circuit.

Back in the announcer booth, Waltrip’s familiar “Boogity, boogity, boogity, let’s go racing boys!” was on cue at the beginning of the race, although this time from a standing start.  It was great to hear DW get into his familiar rhythm calling the race, pointing out the different sponsors (even explaining what a ‘fair dinkum’ was), while talking about stock cars equipped with real time telemetry, center lock wheel nuts and wet racing tires – all familiar to fans of Formula 1.

Even if cars with fenders didn’t look familiar to open wheel racing purists, the liveries on them did, and Team Vodafone stood out as a familiar sponsor logo throughout the race.  Earlier this year, Team Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Jenson Button took the MP4/23 out on track to set a new course record and swapped cars with driver Craig Lowndes for an event similar to the Mobil 1 seat swap held this year with Tony Stewart and Lewis Hamilton.

Onboard with Jenson Button around Mount Panorama

This year’s race started ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix, which many F1 fans in the US watched live, and due to the 1000’s late finish, Americans tuning in for the start at Suzuka caught a dramatic race to the finish line.  Not a bad introduction to the US as the V8 Supercar series gears up to visit the purpose built F1 track at Circuit of the Americas in 2013.

V8 Supercars are a great show for all fans of racing, and the next race takes place this weekend with drivers from F1, NASCAR, Indycar, Le Mans and other series competing at Australia’s Gold Coast, and will be shown live this Saturday evening on SPEED.

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Filed under American F1 circuits, Circuit of the Americas, Events, F1 and branding, F1 and business, F1 broadcasting in America, linkedin, NASCAR, Uncategorized, V8 Supercar