Tag Archives: American Statesman

Circuit of the Americas: Racing for 2012

 

The run up to tomorrow’s deadline for an agreement between Formula 1 and Circuit of the Americas (COTA) has been full of twists and turns, and American F1 fans have been waiting by the finish line this week for news that the 2012 race in Austin will go ahead as announced. The American Statesman has been keeping a close eye on events last month surrounding the story in Austin, and for many it’s time for a recap.

A win tomorrow for COTA means a win for Austin and American fans with a race in November 2012, but it wasn’t long after construction was interrupted earlier this year that observers noted it was going to be it’s own race to complete. The project was underfunded and delayed, and with a complete stoppage of work at the site due to a reshuffle at the top, all eyes are now waiting and watching for COTA to take the last corner on the last lap and finish what they’ve set out to do.

Americans love an underdog, and since the announcement of the Grand Prix of America, a new F1 race in New Jersey overlooking the Manhattan skyline in June of 2013, it’s been positioned to steal COTA’s thunder as the first F1 race in the US in more than half a decade if COTA is dropped from the calendar next year. FOM’s rightsholder, Bernie Ecclestone, has been a lightning rod for much of the ire around the Austin race delays, and the announcement tomorrow is expected to either put COTA ahead of their well-financed contenders from New Jersey, or make them the second Formula 1 race in the US in over half a decade.

A second place finish to the New Jersey race won’t take COTA out of the running for 2013, and regardless of outcome tomorrow it’s critical for everyone involved with this project, and especially the fans, to address the expectations set for F1’s return to Austin and match the passion and enthusiasm American fans have for the sport here.

The picture is much bigger than a one-off event or launch, and is about the ten year plan to create a new American home for F1 – one that is going to be supported by hundreds of millions and hopefully billions of reasons fans and business bring with them to ensure its longevity in Austin.

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Filed under American F1 circuits, American F1 history, Americans working in F1, Circuit of the Americas, F1 in America, Formula 1 New Jersey, Uncategorized, United States Grand Prix, United States Grand Prix in Austin

A Visit to Austin 2011

 

AUSTIN SPEED SHOP

“Like a fine plate of barbeque

bear down on the meat

and ease off the potato salad”

This week, I’ve been in Austin enjoying a community of energetic, friendly and downright hospitable folks who’ve all been very supportive and enthusiastic of the upcoming race next year.  While here, I’ve been tweeting a bit from various spots in town, and meeting many whose businesses and livelihoods are due to experience an uptick next November when the race comes to town.

My first visit was with American Stateman Internet Editor Dave Doolittle, and it was great to get such a friendly welcome my first night in town.  Dave’s a local who, like many here, have watched Austin grow over the decades and looks forward to what’s coming next year.  He’s also an avid F1 fan who happens to have had the story of a lifetime land right in his backyard – lucky guy!  His dad’s been a big F1 fan also, and had the foresight to co-found AtlasF1 back in the late 90’s – so F1’s certainly in the family.  Follow Dave’s coverage as he tweets news and events around town as they unfold, you can also check out his coverage on the Statesman online.


A lunchtime crowd waits outside Franklin BBQ

The first full day in town it was time to get down to business, so Franklin BBQ was where I headed.  A serious lunch spot has a serious wait, so after 30 minutes in line I had a chance to sample their delicious ribs and rub elbows with the local crowd.  Funny how long that wait sounds writing it down now, but here in Austin, folks are easy to strike up a chat, even in the 90 degree heat outside.

 

Ribs are taken seriously . . . this is Texas!

That evening, I met up with San Francisco F1 Group alum Alex Wong, a recent transplant from the city by the Bay, and an amazing guy who’s been behind the scenes as Austin gets ready to go big next year in F1.  We met up with some friends at Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar on 6th – and found more music and energy than most cities this size serve up in a single night.  A fantastic evening out, highly recommended.

 

Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar on 6th – a must see

I’ve got a few days left in town, and just yesterday, Alex and I made it out to the track to meet with our friend Oliver, a civil engineer from Tilke who offered to show us around the circuit.  I was ready with camera in hand, so we ventured out of town and took in the sights while imagining the sounds from America’s first purpose built F1 track in decades . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under American F1 circuits, American F1 Fans, Circuit of the Americas, san francisco formula 1 group, Uncategorized, United States Grand Prix, United States Grand Prix in Austin