Category Archives: United States Grand Prix in Austin

Team Principals Speak on the State of F1

It’s a chilly Saturday morning here at Circuit of The Americas, and for the first time since 2005, only 9 teams will be qualifying for a grand prix.  A lack of finances at Caterham and Marussia has created a situation that provided the backdrop for one of the most revealing Q&A sessions with team principals representing both the front and what’s left of the rear of the grid.

As money takes center stage in any endeavor at the expense of it’s genuine focus, in this case. how can fans enjoy a pure competitive F1 experience?

Watching the interview from one team’s hospitality center, it is clear that the paddock is following this story closely in the hopes of keeping the sport about racing, and not just about the shrinking grid (transcript):

 

 

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Circuit of The Americas Takes Volunteer Race Marshal Applications

 

 

American automotive racing events depend on the dedicated teams of organized professionals who volunteer their time and expertise each weekend to ensure things run smoothly on and around racing circuits, and this year’s inaugural USGP at Circuit of The Americas should provide opportunities for volunteers in a wide variety of areas, from meeting and greeting the public as they arrive, to more specialized and accredited positions around the track.

This week, Circuit of The Americas posted an application for race marshal volunteers on their website – roles which will play a critical part in the running of the actual races themselves.  Marshal duties are varied and occur before, during and after every event, and while not conspicuous to most fans, on television race marshals are usually recognized waving course flags, pushing cars back on the course after a spin, lifting cars away after one and sometimes cleaning up the racing surface where necessary.

“Sounds great, where do I apply?” you might ask – but this is not an ordinary type of position – credentials and plenty of time and training on and off the track is required.

 

Marshals at the 2007 USGP (Photo: Paul-Henri Cahier)

 

Proximity to the course, moving cars, flying debris and the occasional irate driver requires prior experience, and even for those with it there are just a privileged few who will get to work so close to a grand prix.  If you’re interested in learning more, just ask a marshal, or start with your local racing and car club, several have been listed below for more information.

It’s not immediately obvious how the selection process for USGP race marshals will take place, but it’s expected that the most experienced applicants will be chosen from the car clubs represented by the Automobile Competition Committee for the United States (ACCUS), which is America’s National Sporting Authority of the FIA.

ACCUS’ member clubs are Grand-Am, IMSA, USAC, NASCAR, NHRA, SCCA, IndyCar, and there is also an affiliation with the World Karting Association.  A list of detailed contact information for your closest representative club can be found here.

Circuit of The Americas requires the last three years of racing experience be listed on their volunteer race marshal application for the USGP, with what appears to be a start date listed of Tuesday, November 14th – best of luck to all – and share with us if you’ve been a part of one of the several USGP events in the past.

 

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A Supercar Rental for an F1 Grand Prix Weekend

When the Grand Prix rolls through Circuit of The Americas there won’t be a bigger stage in a bigger state for well-heeled Formula 1 fans around the world to make their entrance – Texas style.

For the lucky few, a Grand Prix weekend will include all the trimmings and that means everything from the best seats at the race to the best seats to the race, and for this demand, there’s one rental brand Americans are familiar with that’s meeting it … abroad, anyway.

Hertz UK has announced they’ve added the latest Formula 1 inspired car from McLaren Automotive to their lineup at selected locations in the Commonwealth:  The MP4-12C.

 

Now available to rent from Hertz (UK)

 

Michel Taride, President, Hertz International and Executive Vice-President, Hertz Corporation, said:

“Hertz aspires to offer truly innovative rental experiences to our customers, and the spell-binding McLaren MP4-12C provides an opportunity of a lifetime to experience Formula 1 race-bred technologies on the road.”

Yes, that yellow (ahem, Gold) license plate looks familiar, and in more than one way the numbers are impressive: 0-62 in 3.3 seconds will run you rates starting at £1134.30 (~$1800) for a single day mid-week and range to £906.30 (~$1400) per day for rentals lasting over 28 days.

Stateside, the MP4-12C starts at around $229,000 and the first customer cars were shipped to dealers earlier this year.  America is an important market for McLaren, and their celebrated return to full production road cars brings a brand known for exclusivity and performance to a much wider audience than it’s legendary predecessor, the F1.

It’s not impossible to imagine a supercar like the MP4-12C available from Hertz especially around an F1 based marketing drive, but typically the American supercar rental market is addressed by smaller niche operations and clubs catering to customers and members through automotive timeshares and exclusive pricing.  In this case, Hertz UK has partnered with Premiere Velocity, a smaller luxury car rental firm based in London.

Could such a car be offered in Austin from Hertz, Avis or, Dollar Rental?  It will be interesting to see if there’s an effort to meet the opportunity.  Imagine a Bentley airport shuttle to whisk you from your airline (or airplane)  to your supercar rental – it sure sounds like a nice way to transport your luggage.

 

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Filed under American F1 Events, brand strategy in F1, Circuit of the Americas, F1 and business, Formula 1 New Jersey, GP of America, Uncategorized, United States Grand Prix in Austin