How To Inspire Motorsports Passion in Youth

Today on AutoWeek.com, I found this “feel good” video of a boy & his Dad BOTH enjoying the thrill of a Porsche 911’s acceleration.  I’d say that if you want your children to enjoy the rewards of driving cars as they were meant to be used (not as appliances), this type of sharing would be great.  In addition, this is a great bonding experience, for both you and your offspring.

Therefore, Racing Ready suggests you safely strap in your little ones to properly start their enjoyment of the joy of horsepower!
Dan

The Ultimate Car Enthusiasts Driving Gift, Anytime!

I just saw this unique Groupon offer come through my Inbox.  It is based in Austin, TX, but would be worth driving some distance for this offer.

Lone Star Exotic Rentals – Multiple Locations

Exotic-Car Outing or Test-Driving Experience (Half Off)

Lone Star Exotics, at speed!

In a Nutshell

Flashy sports cars such as Ferrari F430, Lamborghini Gallardo, Corvettes & Vipers for rental or daylong driving excursions

The Fine Print

  • Expires Dec 26, 2012
  • Limit 1/person, may buy 4 addl as gifts. Limit 1/visit. Valid only for option purchased.  7 day cncl notice or fee up to Groupon price may apply.  Credit card required at booking.  $1000 security deposit required.
  • Must be 21+ for Dream Drive.   Must be 25+ to rent.  Must provide valid ID & insurance.  Must sign waiver.
  • Must return with full tank of premium unleaded fuel, or $500 fee may apply.  Extra $50 fee for weekends for 100-mile opt.
  • Cannot be driven outside of Texas.
This would be great for a fine drive through the Texas Hill Country, across some other favorite piece of enthusiasts’ asphalt (shhh!), or a hot date with someone special.  Heck, why not do all 3!
Lone Star Exotics - Texas Dream Drive
They also offer what they call Dream Drive Texas.  It’s your chance to spend 35-45 minutes behind the wheel of four of the world’s greatest sports cars. This all in a single day, while experiencing some of the best roads in Texas.
Racing Ready reminds you this has to be used by the day after Christmas 2012.  So, you’d have a whole year to plan & anticipate this future, personal driving event!
Dan

Mazda Raceway at Harris Hill, MazdaMovement Meet ‘n Greet a Success

Welcome to Mazda Raceway at Harris Hill sign

Yesterday dawned cold & blustery, but that did not deter at least 82 Mazda enthusiasts.  We gathered at the newly rechristened Mazda Raceway at Harris Hill to meet fellow Mazda enthusiasts.

H2R parking lot MAZDA variety

H2R Parking lot for MazdaMovement, SKYACTIV Event - Mazda Raceway at Harris Hill

Partial view of new H2R Garages shot

There was a great variety of Mazda daily drivers & racers in the H2R parking – everything from an early 70’s vintage RX-3 to the new, surprisingly hot & fun-to-drive Mazda 2.

Vintage, early 1970's MAZDA RX-3 - first rotary in the USA!

I found out about this event last month & blogged about the invitation. Upon registration in the clubhouse, we were greeted by Mazda dealer & corporate staff.  They also had new 2012 Mazda 3 car models & information promoting their new SKYACTIV Technology (click to enlarge for details!).

SKYACTIV Technology Promo, onsite at Mazda Raceway at Harris Hill

SKYACTIV Technology banner

SKYACTIV Technology - 40 MPG Worth Driving & FUN!

This was the first event of what promises to be a great partnership between Harris Hill Road & Roger Beasley Mazda of Austin, Texas.  This partnership has been in the works for many months & had just been formally announced recently.  The event was coordinated by MazdaMovement.com, facilitated by regional rep Ryan Whitt, from Killeen, Texas.  Unfortunately, MazdaMovement founder Heath Patterson was not able to attend.  He promises to be at the next event being planned for next Spring – can’t wait!

MazdaMovement.com website banner

Bo Rivers, H2R President & owner, conducted the initial safety/instructional “things you need to know about track driving conduct” class.  After provided coffee & donuts, we were to start the day doing enthusiastic “parade laps”.  Below you see me piloting Karlino, my trusty Mazda Miata steed!

Karlino at speed at H2R - Photo courtesy of Penny Burt

These are laps of the track that start out at about 6 to 7/10ths of optimal racing speed.  Due to these slower speeds, we were not required to don helmets.  These laps were conducted in a lead-follow format, lead by an instructor & followed by 3 guest/wannabe racers like me!

Mazda Raceway at Harris Hill, MazdaMovement - prepartions & anticipation at the paddock

After having worked up an appetite with all that at-speed activity, we were treated to a full tilt Texas BBQ, catered by Milt’s Pit BBQ.  Coming in from the cold, we all enjoyed the good food & fixin’s…

Mazda Raceway at Harris Hill, MazdaMovement BBQ lunch in the H2R Clubhouse

Mazda Raceway at Harris Hill, MazdaMovement BBQ lunch in the H2R Clubhouse, another shot

In the afternoon, participants watched the crazy activity of drifting cars around the track.  It was entertaining, to say the least, but my opinion about drifting is, what’s the point?  In addition, those of us who wanted more were able to partake in Right Seat Track Rides.  This was a full-on passenger experience, on the track at full speed.  Upon the exit from each car, everybody had a WIDE grin on their face.

Mazda Raceway at Harris Hill, the MazdaMovement event - getting ready to get to track & go drifting...

Racing Ready enjoys these uncommon events for the common man.  We look forward to future events of this type of fast fun from the folks at Mazda Raceway at Harris Hill!

Dan

Confirmed: Austin USGP Race on 2012 F1 Schedule!

The Race Is On! - Circuit of The Americas' announcement on December 7, 2011

We’ve been on pins & needles about the possibility of this being a non-event for over the past 2 weeks.  We are SO relieved as is all of Formula 1 fandom, especially those of us geographically located in South/Central Texas.  Here’s the official press release direct from Circuit of The Americas (CoTA):

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 7, 2011

Formula 1 (TM) and Circuit of The Americas (TM) Ready to Roll
10-Year Race Contract Brings F1 Back to the U.S. in 2012;
Construction to Resume Immediately

AUSTIN, Texas – December 7, 2011 – Circuit of The Americas announced today that they have reached an agreement with Formula One Management that ensures the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix remains on the FIA Formula 1 World Championship race calendar.  Red McCombs, chairman of McCombs Enterprises and founding partner of Circuit of  The Americas stated, “Mr. Ecclestone received his check today. We want to thank the fans supporting us, the local officials and businesses that have encouraged us, the State of Texas, Circuit of The Americas’ staff and Bernie himself.  I want to thank and commend Bobby Epstein for getting us across the finish line.  Bobby’s perseverance and leadership kept the project on track despite unfair and unfounded criticism.”

“Our investors have believed all along that this project has tremendous benefit for our region, and provides a strong economic engine for the future,” stated Epstein, founding partner of Circuit of The Americas.  We remain committed to reaching our goal of being valuable community partners as we establish a platform for sports and entertainment. We’re glad that Tavo’s vision of bringing F1 to the people of Texas will become a reality.”

Engineering and construction teams working on the track will resume immediately, ensuring completion for the 2012 race date.

“We have a substantial number of fans who have expressed interest in buying tickets and hospitality, so today is a win for all of them as much as it is for Circuit of The Americas,” said Steve Sexton, president of Circuit of The Americas. “We encourage everyone to visit our website and register for information. Registered fans will receive the first communication regarding ticket sales plans.  In a matter of weeks we will have more exciting news as we unveil our full calendar of world class events.”

Fans interested in receiving information about tickets for next year’s United States Grand Prix can register their contact information at www.CircuitofTheAmericas.com. Ticket sales information will be communicated to those registered prior to general public notification.

Media Inquiries:

Jeff Hahn
Representing Circuit of The Americas
Office: 512-344-2017
jhahn@hahntexas.com

Ali Putnam
Circuit of The Americas
Office: 512-301-6600
ali.putnam@circuitoftheamericas.com

Circuit of The Americas racing surface foundation preparation...circa November 2011

Influential local people who strongly & enthusiastically support the important arrival of the Austin Formula 1 USGP are highlighted on a good YNN video.  Those folks are Wyman Gilliam, of Wild Bubba’s Wild Game Grill fame, as well as the brother-sister team of TheAustinGrandPrix.com, Kevin & Kerri Olsen.  Click of the recent video link below about the news from Elroy:

Austin F1 race still on track for 2012 - YNN video

Bernie Ecclestone’s take on all that had recently transpired to get to this final point of event success was curious & low key…

Yes there will be a race there.  We hope it will be for 10 years.

I’m guessing we won’t know all the sordid details of what transpired in the hush-hush background.  COTA officials, of course, declined to reveal financial terms of the deal.  Per Steven Cole Smith of AutoWeek:

The details regarding the contract Epstein and McCombs apparently signed have not been made public but it seems likely that they were less favorable than the original contract Hellmund had.

Hellmund’s company, Full Throttle Productions, also negotiated contracts for MotoGP and Australian V8 Supercars to race at the circuit in 2013; the status of those two series at the circuit remains unclear.

So, at long last, here’s the planned for 2012 Formula 1 race schedule:

2012 Formula 1 Calendar

March 18                 Australian GP
March 25                 Malaysian GP
April 15                    Chinese GP
April 22                    Bahrain GP
May 13                      Spanish GP
May 27                     Monaco GP
June 10                    Canada GP
June 24                    European GP
July 8                       British GP
July 22                    German GP
July 29                    Hungarian GP
September 2           Belgian GP
September 9           Italian GP
September 23        Singapore GP
October 7                Japanese GP
October 14              Korean GP
October 28              Indian GP
November 4           Abu Dhabi GP
November 18       U.S. GP (Austin)
November 25         Brazilian GP

Here’s a link (& video) to get your mind moving to book a tour to the race with:  Grand Prix Tours | United States Grand Prix Tours Packages Hotels and Tickets

Grand Prix Tours logo

Okay…
Now we can get back to waiting & watching the progress of “our” world-class racing track & its associated facility.  Like all of you, Racing Ready can’t wait!

Dan

Is This COTA’s Last Chance For Austin USGP?

Like you, I’m concerned & given in to ultimately accept that there will be no Formula 1 circus showing up in Austin in less than 1 year from now.  I will have to admit this makes me sad.

A pensive Formula 1 honcho, Bernie Ecclestone...

But then, I was appreciably surprised by Bernie Ecclestone’s announcement today.  He is giving Circuit of The Americas (COTA) an additional 1 week deadline extension, to sign & pay for the Austin USGP 10 year contract.  Bernie, who is the Formula 1 commercial rights manager, summed it up with this short phrase:

They need to get some money and a pen as soon as possible.  They know full well.

&

They are trying to do it.  It would be a loss to everyone (if it didn’t happen).

I’m not sure I’ve seen this “humble” display from Bernie, actually changing his mind with this extension.  It seems unlike his his normal modus operandi.  Once again, we will have to run another roller-coaster week of emotions, hoping not to be disappointed by next week’s December 7th meeting of the the World Motor Sport Council.

Racing Ready would REALLY like some closure on all of this, as I’m sure would you!  More patience…

Dan

MazdaMovement Meet ‘n Greet at Roger Beasley Raceway at Harris Hill

Just recently announced, upcoming event at Roger Beasley Raceway at Harris Hill, formerly known as Harris Hill Road (H2R).  This will be facilitated by MazdaMovement:

MAZDA Raceway at Harris Hill logo

COME DRIVE WITH US!

Roger Beasley Raceway at Harris Hill is happy to invite you to our first driving event. The get-together will be Saturday, December 10, 2011 from 10AM -3PM.

Here’s what we have in mind to keep you busy at Harris Hill:

10-11 Coffee and Classroom-Learn some techniques that you will use both on the track and in your everyday driving

11-1 Parade Laps and SKYACTIV Demonstration

1-2 Lunch with Drifting Demonstrations and Right Seat Track Rides

2-3 Service Lane Competition with GREAT Prizes!

Roger Beasley Raceway at Harris Hill is located at 2840 Harris Hill Road, San Marcos TX 78666.

Please RSVP to RSVP@texasmazda.com or, for more information call Terry Drake at 512 406 7515.

Here is the Facebook link!

This should be a GREAT event to enjoy.   I also look forward to seeing what the MAZDA Beasley branding has done (& will do) for H2R.

Racing Ready expects to see you there…regardless of what marque you drive!

Dan

Austin USGP Salvation We’ve Been Hoping For?

I happened to hear my phone announce a text during our Thanksgiving meal & I couldn’t resist.  I almost fell on the floor with the following press release from Circuit of The Americas (COTA):

Circuit of The Americas News Release banner

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 24, 2011

Circuit of The Americas™ Ready to Pay Sanctioning Fee
and Offering More Proposal Satisfies 2012 Request,
Accelerates Payments for Subsequent Years

AUSTIN, Texas – November 24, 2011 – Circuit of The Americas has responded to Formula One Management’s contract requirements by agreeing to an immediate cash payment of the sanctioning fee for the 2012 United States Grand Prix (USGP). In addition, Circuit of The Americas has offered to establish an advance payment schedule for USGP races beyond 2012.  The offer comes after several weeks of talks, and once accepted, will secure the USGP on the Formula 1 race calendar.

“We have been ready to send Mr. Ecclestone a sanctioning fee check for some time now,” said Bobby Epstein, founding partner of Circuit of The Americas. “He hasn’t received it yet because the new contract presented to us two weeks ago contained unrealistic and unfeasible demands. We have signed and returned a contract similar to what we anticipated receiving. This race should be a reality, but if we are going to make the 2012 race date, we must receive a countersignature in the coming few days. We believe the teams, fans, sponsors and local business share our enthusiasm and hope that their voices will be heard.”

So, this gives us F1 fans some serious hope.  But, I’m left with the question:  Are we to expect the Austin USGP to occur in 2012 or 2013?  This next week we may see…

The biggest surprise to Racing Ready is the timing of this announcement.  Is this meant for us to truly “give thanks”?  We hope this is not another tease…

Dan