Tag Archives: COTA

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

Progress at Circuit of The Americas Receives ‘High Marks’ from FIA


Progress at Circuit of The Americas got an official inspection this week when the FIA sent Charlie Whiting (the real one) to check in on construction at the circuit with representatives of the track and designers from Tilke on hand to answer any questions.

As head of Formula One’s technical department, Whiting is known to many fans at the man who starts each race, but his role also includes circuit safety as well as car inspector for the FIA, and he had high praise for the circuit and construction progress in Austin:

“It is clear that the significant resources Circuit of The Americas has committed to completing this facility on time and to FIA specifications is making a difference . . . The more than 500 construction workers on site daily are making great progress, and I plan to return to Austin at the end of August for an update. My formal pre-race inspection is set for Sept. 25, which is 60 days before the scheduled start of the FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX™. From the world-class motorsports facilities and fan areas to the racecourse itself, which promises to be one of the most challenging new additions to our season, I believe Circuit of The Americas has the ability to put on a great show and spectacular Grand Prix in its inaugural year. I look forward to my next visit in August.”

Circuit of The Americas has also been doing an admirable job of updating it’s Facebook community with weekly updates from the track – doubters, take note – or at least follow their updates.

The FIA’s visit came just days after teams and officials wrapped up a successful Canadian Grand Prix weekend and just ahead of the inaugural Formula Expo event to be held in downtown Austin.  This first of it’s kind event will bring the community at large in contact with teams, vendors and circuit representatives to preview the sport’s arrival and I look forward to attending this weekend – stay tuned for more updates from Texas and follow @F1US for the latest.

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Filed under American F1 circuits, American F1 Events, American F1 Fans, Circuit of the Americas, F1 and business

Pirelli and Circuit of The Americas Partner to Take F1 on a US Tour


Ferrari three seater


Circuit of The Americas and Pirelli have announced a partnership in a press release today to bring different Formula 1 experiences around the country to promote the upcoming race in November:

Together the two companies have laid out an extensive campaign this year to promote the inaugural 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX™ to fans throughout North America. Some of the initiatives fans can look forward to this year include an interactive show car display in different locations around the country, the recently announced Pirelli GP Challenge powered by SPEED TV and the exclusive Formula GP Experience.

These include an F1 show car tour, which will include a Lotus F1 chassis like that seen at the New York International Auto Show earlier this year as well as a driving simulator in several cities across the US:

Circuit of The Americas and Pirelli will be hosting an F1 Show Car Tour throughout the country this year, with stops throughout Texas in June and July. The display will allow for public viewing of a Lotus F1 show car and a driving simulator experience for fans. This tour will include an F1 car on display in iconic spots around the country and in the state of Texas. Some of these stops include Montreal Crescent Street, the Monterey Classic Car Show in Pebble Beach, Denver, Chicago, Phoenix, Houston, Dallas, Austin, Cleveland and South Florida. One stop in particular is the recently announced Formula Expo in Austin, Texas June 16-17, 2012. Formula Expo will feature over 120,000 square feet of exhibits and demonstrations from top Formula 1™ teams, as well as the companies creating the sport’s groundbreaking technology, and it will offer the opportunity to meet some of the F1 drivers. Other locations of the show car display will be released in the coming months.

Already in progress is the Pirelli GP Challenge, an online fantasy league for the 2012 season, but there’s more . . .

Circuit of The Americas and Pirelli will also host the Formula GP Experience, the only Formula One™ riding experience for fans in North America. This will serve as the ultimate in F1 experiences and will allow racing fans to ride alongside an F1™ driver inside a modified 3-seater F1 race car. Only four of these cars exist in the world, two of which will be used in Austin, Texas, at the Driveway Austin during race weekend in November.

The cars allow ardent fans the chance to experience what it’s like to be an F1 driver. The cars go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in only 1.8 seconds, and they reach top speeds of more than 220 miles per hour. Customers can expect an exciting, safe experience as they ride along with some of the most experienced drivers in the world. Formula GP Experience drivers include Derek Hill, F3000 driver and son of Phil Hill, the first US F1™ world Champion; former Indy Car Driver Eric Bachelart; current Red Bull F1 Driver Jaime Alguersuari; and former F1 drivers Paul Belmondo, Eric Van De Poele, and Tiago Monteiro.

The Formula GP Experience will begin in May with a final stop in Austin, Texas, Nov. 16-18, with pricing and registration available at formulagpexperience.com.



Filed under American F1 circuits, American F1 Events, American F1 Fans, American F1 talent