V8 Supercars Series Championship at COTA

Wow, 2 days in a row of blockbuster announcements for the Circuit of The Americas (COTA).  This is gaining some great momentum!

V8 Supercars Racing Championship Series logo

V8 Supercars Agrees to Five-Year Deal
With Austin’s Circuit of The Americas(TM)
to Host Championship;
SPEED™ to Broadcast Races
Australia’s Most Popular Motorsports Series
Makes Its First U.S. Home in Austin, Texas

AUSTIN, Texas – June 30, 2011 – V8 Supercars and Circuit of The Americas, along with Texas Governor Rick Perry and Queensland Premier Anna Bligh, announced today a five-year agreement to bring the famous Australian V8 Supercars series to the new Circuit of The Americas beginning in 2013.

“While Texas has established itself as the nation’s place for business, it’s quickly becoming the nation’s place for big sporting events, as well,” said Governor Rick Perry. “V8 Supercars now joins Formula One, MotoGP, NASCAR, the NFL, NBA, NCAA and USTA, among the many that have chosen Texas to host major events in the last few years. This is more good news for the Lone Star State, and will provide a significant boost to the economy of Central Texas.”

“The addition of V8 Supercars into our lineup at Circuit of The Americas will add to what we already know will be a rich and exhilarating fan experience,” said Steve Sexton, President of Circuit of The Americas. “We’re thrilled the racing world is so excited about our facility. Austin is poised to become the premiere North American destination for international motorsports. In addition to hosting the 4 wheel and 2 wheel world championships, the United States will now enjoy the world’s best touring car series here in Austin.”

V8 Supercars is among the fastest growing motorsports in the world. The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) recently sanctioned it as an international series. The series is enormously popular in Australia and New Zealand and will be making its first entrance into North America at Circuit of The Americas.

V8 Supercars joins the already existing 10-year agreements Circuit of The Americas has to host the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™ beginning in 2012 and MotoGP World Championship™ beginning in 2013. This first purpose-built Grand Prix facility in the United States is currently under construction in Austin, Texas.

Additionally, SPEED™ will televise the two 200-km (124-mile) races live and in full throughout North and South America.

“I can’t describe how excited we are to bring the V8 Supercars race to such a spectacular facility. With Formula 1 racing, MotoGP and now V8 Supercars, it’s obvious Circuit of The Americas will be a top-notch destination that houses the best racing on earth, and we are thrilled to be a part of it,” said Tony Cochrane, Chairman of V8 Supercars.

“We have expanded V8 Supercars’ geographical influence over the past few years with plans to stage up to six races each year to complement our existing events in Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East,” added Cochrane. “Our entrance into the United States marks a new day for the series and we’re excited for Americans to experience what has made V8 Supercars so popular in many places around the world.”

Formerly the Australian Touring Car Championship, the current series was devised in 1993 and branded as “V8 Supercars” in 1997. The cars are based on modified versions of Australia’s two most popular – and most rivaled – passenger cars, the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore.

V8 Supercars continues as one of Australia’s largest sports both in attendance and television viewership. In 2010, approximately 1.7 million people attended V8 Supercars events, including V8 Supercars’ 20 millionth spectator at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

V8 Supercars Racing Series Championship - USA debut at COTA in 2013!

About the V8 Supercars Championship

The V8 Supercars Championship is one of the worlds’ largest and best-known touring car categories, recognized internationally as a leader in motorsport and entertainment. The Championship consists of 15 events across Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East in 2011, as well as racing at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix™.

In 2010, more than 1.8 million people attended a V8 Supercars event. Every race is telecast live on the Seven Network across Australia and the TV3 Network in New Zealand. In addition, more than 130 countries telecast V8 Supercars live, as-live or on delay, dependent on time zone and programming. The massive SPEED™ network in North and South America and ESPN Star throughout Asia are among the sport’s major international broadcasters.

In 2011, V8 Supercars was granted ‘international status’ by the world governing body of motorsport, the FIA, which enables it to race at up to six international destinations outside of Australia and New Zealand each year, elevating the sport to the top tier of all categories worldwide.

The Championship’s world-renowned races include the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide, Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, Armor All Gold Coast 600 and the season-ending Sydney Telstra 500 on the streets of Olympic Park in Sydney.

Backing for the sport is at an all-time high with annual sponsorship in excess of $150 million across the 18 teams and Championship series. V8 Supercars’ major sponsor is Australia’s largest Internet service provider, Telstra BigPond. Its sponsors also include multinational companies, with FMGC partners becoming increasingly prominent. Etihad Airways recently became the official international airline of V8 Supercars.

All V8 Supercars run on 85 percent CSR Ethanol, a renewable fuel bi-product of the sugar refining process.

More information can be found at http://v8supercars.com.au

About Circuit of The Americas™

Circuit of The Americas™ will be a world-class destination for performance, education and business. It will be the first purpose-built Grand Prix facility in the United States designed for any and all classes of racing, from motor power to human power. It will be the U.S. home to both the Formula 1 and MotoGP Grand Prix World Championships.

The Circuit of The Americas™ master plan features a variety of permanent structures designed for business, education, entertainment and race use. Its signature element will be a 3.4-mile (5.5-km) circuit track with capacity for 120,000 fans. Other support buildings will include a medical trauma and care training facility, 14 executive meeting suites, a conference center, a banquet hall as well as an expansive outdoor live music space.

Future proposed amenities include a driving/riding experience, a motorsports driving club, kart track, grand plaza event center and tower, and a trackside recreational vehicle park.

For more information and downloadable video, audio and photos, visit: CircuitofTheAmericas.com.

Media Inquiries:
Russ Rhea
Representing Circuit of The Americas™
Office: 512-344-2040
russ@hahntexas.com

Racing Ready is striving to get more involved. This announcement makes COTA even more important for the South/Central Texas region.

Dan

Austin City Council Officially Endorses Formula 1 USGP!

Formula 1 USGP, Austin, Texas 2012

It is OFFICIALLY endorsed!  Here is the official press release:

Austin City Council Officially Endorses
Formula 1 United States Grand Prix (TM)
Affirmative Vote Advances Race
Preparations at Circuit of the Americas (TM)

AUSTIN, Texas – June 29, 2011 – Austin’s City Council voted today to officially endorse the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix event in 2012. Council Members deliberated on the issue for more than three weeks leading up to the vote and worked closely with representatives of Circuit of The Americas to craft an environmental agreement that is unprecedented for a world-class sports venue.

“We appreciate the Council’s approval of the endorsement,” said Steve Sexton, President of Circuit of The Americas. “Austin is a unique community and the environmental provisions we worked together to craft with Council demonstrate our commitment to produce an event aligned with the values and vision of the City. This is a major step toward our vision of bringing the world to Austin to enjoy one of the most spectacular international events in sports. This partnership sets a new standard that every new sports or entertainment venue around the world can emulate.”

City Council’s official endorsement of the race clears the way for the Local Organizing Committee to utilize a state fund established by the Texas Legislature for the purpose of attracting and producing major events like the Super Bowl, NCAA Men’s Final Four and now the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix.

“I’m proud of the partnership between the City and Circuit of The Americas to develop and build what will be among the greenest, most high-tech sports and entertainment facilities anywhere,” said Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell.

Circuit of The Americas, the world-class sports and entertainment facility under construction in southeast Travis County, will be among the most technologically and environmentally advanced venues in the world. Race organizers and a group of community environmentalists have devised a 54-point plan to position Circuit of The Americas as the “greenest” sporting facility in the Americas. The plan includes elements ranging from offsite transportation options and dedicated bicycle lane access to incorporation of a community garden area, water-conservation measures, and the planting of over 800 trees. In addition, the venue will promote and host alternative vehicle races.

Major excavation groundwork of Circuit of The Americas is entering its final stages. The most recently available aerial photos of construction progress are posted online at CircuitofTheAmericas.com.

# # #
About Circuit of The Americas 

Circuit of The Americas will be a world-class destination for performance, education and business. It will be the first purpose-built Grand Prix facility in the United States designed for any and all classes of racing, from motor power to human power, and be the U.S. home to both the Formula 1™ and MotoGP™ Grand Prix World Championships.

Circuit of The Americas’ master plan features a variety of permanent structures designed for business, education, entertainment and race use. Its signature element will be a 3.4-mile circuit track with capacity for 120,000 fans. Other support buildings will include a medical trauma and care training facility, 14 executive meeting suites, a conference center, a banquet hall as well as an expansive outdoor live music space. Future proposed amenities include a driving/riding experience, a motorsports driving club, kart track, grand plaza event center and tower, and a trackside recreational vehicle park. For more information, visit CircuitofTheAmericas.com.

Media Inquiries:
Russ Rhea
Representing Circuit of The Americas
Office: 512-344-2040
russ@hahntexas.com

Support Formula 1 - Shirt off of Vance's back! (Posted on Facebook...)

This has been the next step all of us motorsports enthusiasts have been waiting for – HUZZAH!  Racing Ready is majorly pleased & frankly relieved.  Now we move forward with all this continued development…COOL!

Dan

F1 Euro GP Race Viewing Party at Cool River

Sunday, June 26th, 2011 was the European Grand Prix at Valencia, Spain.  My wife & I attended an F1WatchParty.com watching party to experience that race.  This event took place in northwest Austin, Texas at the exclusive Cool River Cafe restaurant/bar.

Cool River, 4001 West Parmer Lane, Austin, TX

These events are hosted By Zinger Hardware in association with John Eagle European and Ferrari of Austin. One of the beneficiaries of this event is: Your Ride Is Here. This thinking-outside-of-the-box non profit organization provides transportation to cancer patients from their homes to the treatment center, in exotic sports cars.

Your Ride Is Here logo

There were a number of Ferrari, Lotus & other high sports cars on display in the parking lot outside.  Unfortunately, we had no time to check them out – we had gotten there just in time for the start.  This event has a loyal following.  There were almost 200 people waiting to enjoy watching the race.  We lucked out & were able to score front row, center seats.

Formula 1 race fans at Cool River, F1 Watch Party - European GP - June 26, 2011

The projector screen was HUGE & the sound was loud (just right) & clear.  The live  race had already been run and been decided hours before.  What the folks at Cool River Cafe had done was record the Formula 1 race on DVR & made it available to the fans to enjoy at 1:30 in the afternoon.

HUGE screen at Cool River, F1 Watch Party - European GP - June 26, 2011

The race ran well, but was less dramatic than the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, two weeks ago.  Sebastian Vettel won & is doing very well in the points standings.

Sebastian Vettel of Team Red Bull wins the 2011 European Grand Prix in Valencia, Spain

During the race I was able to meet up with Robert DeGroff of AustinSuperTrack.com.  He rents out PC-based racing simulators for any sort of enthusiast event/party.  As his tag line says: “Race the world’s best tracks and cars 24/7”.  Check out the equipment he can make available for you!

AustinSuperTrack.com - Racing Simulator

After the race, I saw this big slot track set up on one of Cool River’s unused, oversized pool tables.  I met Warren Peck, of Races2U.com.  Not only does he set up these Mobile Digital Slot Car Racing venues, he has a large trailer with a permanent track set up with all the scenery to allow you to get into the racing action with your own slot car digital controller.  Warren can bring the racing to you!

RACES2U Trailer - Digital Slot Car Racing

Races2U - interior of digital slot car track trailer

Following the race viewing party, key members of the Austin Formula 1 Club met for a quick meeting.  We are planning an announcement for the San Antonio area – but that’s all I can say, for now…

Austin F1 Club logo

These last 3 weekends with Racing Ready in Austin have been interesting & they will be fruitful.  Stay tuned, all you race fans!

Dan

 

Panera’s June ’11 Cars & Java (Coffee?) Event

Today, the last Saturday of the month in San Antonio, TX, is a monthly gathering of car people & their rides , unofficially called Cars & Coffee, or Cars & Caffeine, or whatever.  It’s a laid back, park what you brung, whether it be your daily driver or otherwise.  There were all sorts of car culture folk enjoying it all.  As always, click to enlarge the pix!

Informal C&C Show @ Panera's, San Antonio, TX - 25-JUN-2011 - Pano-1

Today I estimated there were about 175 cars of many different marques.  I got there just after 8:30am & the place was already packed!  I was lucky to find a good spot & backed in behind Jason’s sweet, lime green Ultima Can-Am 720.  I had seen him & his car a few months ago, but I never got around posting the pix (sorry).  I am making up for that now…

From the front bumper of Jason's Ultima Can-Am 720

Unlike most people who have high end, beautiful, go-fast cars, Jason is actually enjoying his to the fullest.  He has participated in 3  HPDEs (high performance driver education) events, so far this year.  He was even at speed in the wet!  Now that’s a learning experience, for sure!

Jason's Ultima Can-Am 720, with Karlino!

Jason & an admirer with his Ultima Can-Am 720

Look at that sweet Corvette LS7 engine in Jason's Ultima Can-AM 720!

This is the purpose-built cockpit in Jason's Ultima Can-Am 720

Such a diverse group of 2-seater sports cars - at the informal C&C Show @ Panera's, SA, TX - 25-JUN-2011

For the rest of this post, I’m simply going to provide you with a collection of images showcasing the variety of car marques in attendance.  For further description of the images, just hover your mouse over them.

A variety of age, mode of energy & speed with exclusivity, at the informal C&C Show @ Panera's, San Antonio, TX - 25-JUN-2011

More marque variety - Aston Martin, Bentley & a Delorean (!) at informal C&C Show @ Panera's, San Antonio, TX - 25-JUN-2011

Vipers. nervously quiet, at the informal C&C Show @ Panera's, San Antonio, TX - 25-JUN-2011

Chargers & Cameros in quiet anticipation, at the informal C&C Show @ Panera's, San Antonio, TX - 25-JUN-2011

Mercedes, Fiero , Miata mix, at the informal C&C Show @ Panera's, San Antonio, TX - 25-JUN-2011

More marque variety - Aston Martin, Bentley & Delorean (!) at informal C&C Show @ Panera's, San Antonio, TX - 25-JUN-2011

There were these classic hot rods to enjoy, too, at the informal C&C Show @ Panera's, San Antonio, TX - 25-JUN-2011

They even had a car on fire, a Dodge Magnum, at the informat C&C show @ Panera's, San Antonio, TX - 25-JUN-2011

I made use of Karlino to support my Independent AMSOIL Dealership business.

Karlino assisting with my ReadyOil.com AMSOIL business...

Karlino is doing his part to support Formula 1 coming to Austin, TX, to let people know it will be starting in 2012 – just ONE year away!.  I have been to Austin the past 2 weekends & plan for tomorrow, as well, to attend a European Grand Prix race viewing party.  Also, there will be a follow up meeting of the Austin Formula 1 Club.

I can’t tell you how long I spent trying to find the cheapest fully comprehensive car insurance policies before eventually deciding to stick with TPFT.

Karlino doing his part to support the arrival of Formula 1 in Austin, TX!

Racing Ready is keeping busy, busy, busy for all of us motorsports fans!

Dan

2011 SW SCCA Divisional, Retama Park, by Eric

Once again, Eric (contributing Blogger Extraordinaire) came through with flying colors.  He provides us with pictures, video  & a great, on the spot description of this SCCA Divisional  event, along with all the trials he had to endure.  He covered for me while Racing Ready was pursuing future Formula 1 business in Austin…

This past weekend, I participated in the SCCA Southwest Divisional event #2 at Retama Park.  After my experience at the National Tour, I decided it was time to make the car as competitive as possible and brought Sunshine, my 2001 Z06, down to 911 Motors.

Workin' on improving Sunshine's suspension responce at Federico's shop, 911 Motors!

Federico (owner of the SSM Boxster previously pictured here at Racing Ready) and crew put my car on their lift, and scales, before aligning it the old school method with camber plates and strings.  And while the car wasn’t horrible before, after some tweaking of the Corvette’s built-in weight jacking screws they managed to get the cross weight at 50.1.  Negative camber was also maxed out at -2.25 degrees front and -1.5 degrees rear, with zero toe up front and +2mm toe out back.

Eric's before & after sway bars (antiroll bars) to upgrade his Corvette's handling!

At the same time, I decided to try a larger front sway bar from the C6 ZR1.  This proved to be too much, as the car pushed quite a bit during SASCA event #5.  However, it was much easier to drive and my runs were very consistent, as I had four runs within a couple tenths of each other.  It would’ve been five, if it wasn’t for a spin to not win during run four that sent me backwards through the finish lights.

Eric thru the lights (a damn spin!) at the SCCA Divisional at Retama, on June 18, 2011

Determined to tighten up my line and with the stock front sway bar back in place, I made a few practice runs on Friday afternoon.  That evening, I managed to snap a shot of yellow Corvette row, which included Hubert’s A-Stock C5, and my E46 as sweep car.

Eric's BMW daily driver, also served as sweep car duty.

Most of us at SASCA were a little disappointed by the turnout, with 83 cars taking to the course.  As you can see from the pics below, the pits were far from full and there was no big crowd at the driver’s meeting.

Shallow turnout for this event, the SCCA Divisional at Retama, on June 18, 2011

It was reflected in the unusually small Super Stock field, with just Troy in his beautiful Porsche 911 GT3 and me competing.

Eric's Corvette (Sunshine) waiting in anticipation, proudly wearing the RacingReady.com static clings!

At last, after doing my duties as “Co-Chief of Registration and anything else that needed doing,” it was our turn to run.  The car was solid and easy to drive, and it felt better with the smaller sway bar in place.  However, she was still a little pushy, and a sloppy line left me 1.2 seconds behind Troy after day 1.  Day 2 was worse, as evident in the video of my best run below, and this is a good example of how what you think you’re driving may not be what you’re actually driving.

I never knew that I was that far off the cones at :17, and I didn’t realize I’d left so much empty track from :27-:31.  There was a little speed left around the finish corner as well, and the results of this painful to watch run was falling behind yet another 1.2 seconds.  Boy am I glad I had the video to realize all this!

. . .

All in all, it was a great event that showed me just how much further I have to go.  Troy was great to run against and a nice guy to talk to between runs.  Though I’m starting to wonder if we’re missing out in San Antonio, because while the grip available at Retama is much higher than what’s available from Blossom’s resealed asphalt, the Super Stock winner complained to me about the relative lack of grip at Retama.  Though the dust, as evidenced in the picture I stole from Jerry, may have had something to do with it.

A dry, dusty & hot (!) SCCA Divisional event at Retama, June 18, 2011....

Well, not much left to do now but try to improve as much as I can before Jay, Sunshine and I make the trek to Lincoln, NE, and the SCCA Solo National Championships!

As usual, Racing Ready gives sincere kudos to Eric’s submission here – they are always welcome!  I trust his future initiative continues.

Federico, 911 Motors shop owner, is an Independent AMSOIL Dealer.  This is Federico’s AMSOIL lubricated, highly focused & modified Porsche Boxter!

SASCA 2011 AutoX #3 - Federico's SSM Porsche Boxter - with AMSOIL Racing livery!

Of interest, I had no idea the average Porsche boxer engine takes anywhere from 12 to 16 quarts of oil – WOW!

Dan

1st Annual Austin F1 Club Meeting Overview

Wild Bubba’s Wild Game Grill was very well attended by the Austin Formula 1 Club (AF1C), this past Saturday, June 18, 2011.  I was able to met some new friends & hooked up with other F1 friends.

Wild Bubba's Wild Game Grill interior panorama...

Here is Wild Bubba’s Formula 1/COTA memorabilia corner.  Quite an interesting assortment of neat F1 stuff to honor Formula 1.  Wild Bubba continues to look for “choice bits” to add to his eclectic collection…

Wild Bubba's Formula 1 'shrine' - Part 1

Wild Bubba's Formula 1 'shrine' - Part 2

Here’s proof of Racing Ready’s attendance…

Vance Facundo, Racing Ready Dan, Wild Bubba in his Formula 1 'shrine'...

Charlie Robinson & Sondra Sondreggor conducted the 1st annual meeting AF1C meeting.

Charlie & Sondra facilitating the Austin Formula 1 Club meeting at Wild Bubba's, June 18, 2011

There were a least 22 club members in attendance.  Charlie discussed & had us vote on some decisions that will change the direction of the Club, to move it forward in a positive way.  Below are the specifics of what was discussed:

Club Meeting Update

Posted on Austin F1 Club by Charlie Robinson

For those that did not attend the Annual Meeting this past Saturday, we have some news to share with everyone.

1) It was voted that the Club will vote in management to help keep the club organized and to be able to legally collect donations. We are currently going through the process this week and will have elections… on Sunday June 26th at Cool River Cafe after the watch party. This will comprise of 1 President 1 Secretary and 1 Treasurer.

2) It was voted that the club adopt a mission statement.

3) It was voted that there will be no restrictions to membership regardless of residency.

4) It was voted to have multiple venues for watch parties instead of just one.

As stated in the post below please follow the instructions to submit nominees for the 3 positions listed.

– <> – <> – <> – <> – <> – <> – <> –

Club Elections – Nominations

To help simplify voting on Sunday I ask that each member submit their nominations using the instructions below. We will then hold elections on Sunday June, 26 after the watch party. Thanks for all your support.

Instructions:
…Please send an email to austinf1club@gmail.com no later than June 26th 12:00pm as follows.

Subject: Club Elections

Message:

I nominate for President: ?

I nominate for Secretary: ?

I nominate for Treasurer: ?

Any club member including yourself can be nominated.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me on facebook or email at the above address.

Thanks everybody and good luck to the nominees.

Afterwords, as an unexpected bonus, Vance invited a few of us to see another vantage point of the track!

The COTA 3 Amigos: Vance, James, Dale & James...

Click to ENLARGE!
COTA track view form east looking west - from a possible future hotel site

This site may be a future exclusive hotel. This land has already been purchased by Formula 1.   Can you imagine the view from the balcony?

Possible exclusive hotel site, on east side of course...on Formula 1 land!

Later, in Vance’s office, we were able to see a variety of topographic COTA maps.  There were other drawings & information there, as well…

Vance's on-site office (near COTA)!

Here’s 1 more, large panoramic shot taken close by turn 1, showing Piland Triangle Road, FM 812 in the distance, & all the heavy construction machinery, along with the contractors’ offices.  Once again, click to enlarge (& then click once again).  This one is big!

For icing on the cake, Vance is working on setting up a dedicated HD webcam (available 24/7).  He will be mounting it atop a 40′ plus tower.  It will give us all a great view of what’s going on with the COTA site construction.  Initially, Vance says it will be pointed to the start/finish line, front straight area, turn 1 region of the track.  You will also be able to see the COTA observation deck, beyond turn 1. Racing Ready hopes to be able to provide access to this live feed here.  We shall see!

Dan

P.S. – The next Formula 1 race watch party (in Austin) will be this coming Sunday, June 26th, 2011 – the details are as follows:
2011 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe (Valencia, Spain) Watch Party

P.P.S.Racing Ready is working on the “in Austin” part…

2011 Southwest Solo Divisional #2, at Retama

2011 Southwest Solo Divisional #2

SCCA 2011 SW Solo Divisioal #2 @ Retama Park, Selma, TX

With all my recent posts about Formula 1 in Austin, you may think I have forgotten about autocross.  That’s far from the truth.  But Karlino‘s tires are no longer up for hard charging autocross events.  Current priorities dictate that tires will have to wait…  🙁

Anyway, this weekend is the 2011 Southwest Solo Divisional #2, at the Retama Park lot.  It’s being put on by SASCA, here in San Antonio, Texas.  Here’s the event map:

Retama Park - 2011 Southwest Solo Divisional #2 Google Map

Racing Ready plans just on making a couple of cameo, blogger duty appearances.  I have other events I am obligated to attend – a busy weekend.  If you can, swing on by this autocross event to spectate.  You will see some champion caliber competition.

Horse Crazy - 2011 SCCA SW Div Solo T-shirt

One of the unique & great things about a Solo Divisional event is there are 2 courses; one on Saturday & a different one on Sunday.  That makes it double the fun.  As always, guests are free to come by to watch & enjoy.

Dan