The San Antonio F1 Club – C’mon SA Race Fans!

San Antonio F1 Club logo

Formula 1 United States Grand Prix is coming to Texas, more specifically to Austin in November 2012!  There is major track construction activity at the Circuit of The Americas (COTA).  With all the Formula 1 activities starting up in the Austin area, the Austinite fans are really stepping it up…

Well, I felt the need for a Formula 1 fan club based right here in San Antonio, Texas.  So, I have formed the San Antonio F1 Club.  Here are the links and web references to keep up-to-date & in touch:

Our first project is coordinate events – enjoying Formula 1 race viewing parties.  This is starting to be done by checking out & recruiting San Antonio eating/drinking venues for these social events for F1 fans.  As examples, here are four recent race viewing parties I have attended in Austin these past few months:

Wingzup – Formula 1 Grand Prix Du Canada 2011

The Austin F1 Club, Montreal GP watching party, in Wingzup - their bar with multiple screens, in Austin, TX

Cool River Cafe – Formula 1 European Grand Prix 2011

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

Wild Bubba’s Wild Game Grill – Formula 1 German Gran Prix 2011

Wild Bubba's F1 Watch Party in action - 2011-07-24

Six Lounge – Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix 2011

The bar & balcony at Six Lounge, Downtown Austin, TX , at the F1 Singapore GP race viewing party

Austin now has multiple clubs where ardent Formula 1 fans share the ran watching experience.  We can & WILL do it here, San Antonio!!!  We are going to be “Celebrating the Formula One Fiesta!”

San Antonio F1Club - Celebrating the Formula 1 Fiesta!

Besides reviewing the SAF1C website & posting on the SAF1C Facebook page, what we really need is your help & participation.  This is a doing activity, not just an Internet experience.  Please suggest (find) sports bar/restaurant-type locations that fill the following criteria:

  • Has multiple big screen monitors
  • DVR capability & management willing to work with us
  • A reasonable menu & adult beverage selection
  • Maybe more than 1 location to alternate between

Racing Ready supports San Antonio F1 Club.
As always, you can contact me at: dan@racingready.com

THANKS!

Dan

COTA Highway FM812 Paving Expansion Progress

On my way back from the Six Lounge GP race viewing party, I stopped by the Circuit of The Americas (COTA).  It has been 1 week since they started the paving expansion of the shoulders.  So far, they’ve gotten most of the 3/10th of  a mile section directly in front of the main track entrance completed.

Highway FM 812 Lanes Expansion at COTA, off in the distance...

It’s just a start.  More details in this article of the FM 812 Road Improvements

Highway FM 812 Expansion, in front of COTA entrance!

According to this article, the start of “vertical construction” might be held back due to this delayed road work.  See the geographic details in this map below.

FM 812 Pavement Expansion, by COTA entrance

Racing Ready continues to monitor COTA construction progress for you…

Dan

Eric’s 2011 SCCA SOLO Nationals Challenges

Once again, Eric, my Contributing Blogger Extraordinaire, has come through with his honest & humble musings of SCCA Nationals SOLO competition notes & pix from Lincoln, NE.

Last week, my codriver Jay and I made our first trip to Lincoln, NE for the 2011 SCCA Solo National Championships.  Unfortunately, the long tow was made even longer by the fact that our usual trailer was unavailable, so we made due with a U-Haul 16 footer that the car barely fit on, and it tended to sway at any speed past 62mph!  The fact that both of our schedules forced us to leave at 1 a.m. Monday morning and pull an all nighter for the drive up didn’t help.

2011 scca solo nats day1 - 1

At last, we made it, and thanks to special arrangements made with the SCCA we were able to complete registration on Tuesday morning.  Messing with our heads even more, however, was the fact that we were woken at 5:30 a.m. by a deluge of rain, thunder and lightning that left us wondering if we would be able to run at all.  Then the lightning stopped, and we were able to register and make it through tech.

2011 scca solo nats day1 - 2

Super Stock was originally scheduled to run in Heat 1, but we were moved to Heat 2, which was both a blessing and a curse.  It stopped raining right as the first cars took to the course at 8:30 a.m., but by the time we were scheduled to run conditions were still damp, and there was standing water in the “Tickets Please” part of the East Course, which also happened to be the tightest element.  Many competitors had their rain tires at the ready, but 2/3rds of the field, us included, gambled that it would dry out fast.

2011 scca solo nats day1 - 3

The course was still slick when we made our first runs, with Jay taking a pylon and me taking, ahem, five cones on my first run.  Our second runs in drying conditions weren’t any better, as we had a combination of extremely grippy concrete, well above what we are used to running on locally at Retama Park and Blossom, and still slick sections, such as the aforementioned “Tickets Please.”  Both of us ended up with two pylons apiece.

2011 scca solo nats day1 - 4

Third and final runs were even worse, as Jay hit a wet patch and oversteered, almost spinning the car and going on the wrong side of a gate after taking out most of a cone wall, while I managed to destroy a good portion of “Tickets Please.”  Here are videos of both my and Jay’s “best” runs, evidence of how slow we were.

Here’s Jay’s third run, Day 1, East course:

My third run, Day 1, East course:

After committing the previous atrocities against the Autocross Gods and defaming the Church of the Cone, it was no surprise that Jay was 38th and I was dead last in a field of 43 Super Stock competitors.  Though at least we looked almost fast, as evidenced by these photos I stole from GotCone.com.

gotcone.com - 1

gotcone.com - 2

Day 2, at least, was dry, though the course was a whole bunch of slaloms followed by offsets and more slaloms, with a couple of sweepers thrown in for good measure.  It was quite a workout, and my first run left me breathless and trembling, with bruises on both sides of my legs from the G forces of slicing back and forth.  Worst of all, getting behind, misreading a sweeper exit, and driving below the car’s limits left me still in last place.  Jay fared worse, as he almost spun the car again and took out another cone.  We did a little better on our second runs, with Jay recording his fastest raw time of 70.32, and my 71.51 was still faster than my first run, even with a cone.  And yes, we hit a lot of them, leaving gems like this mark on Sunshine’s right rear quarter panel.

2011 scca solo nats day2 - 8

At last, it was time for our third and final runs.  I knew I was faster, if not cleaner, than the driver above me in 42nd, and that a pass without a pylon would prevent me from continuing my stigma of finishing last at national level SCCA events.  Jay would tell me later that the announcer told the world that I would need a 72.8 to not finish in last as I rounded the final sweeper, and the result of my run was a very conservative but clean 72.1.  Afterwards, I remember telling my codriver that it was the hardest I’d ever worked to not finish DFL.  This artwork, left by Lord Alarcon on my rear bumper, pretty much sums up the event.

2011 scca solo nats day2 - 7

Of course, this blog wouldn’t be complete without a picture of 2011 Super Stock national champion Matthew Braun in his Lotus Elise.  To eliminate the effect of Other People’s Rubber on his times, he had THREE SETS of new tires, one for each of his runs, on day 2.  It worked, as his third run was his fastest, and he walked away with the jacket.  Check out the air under the left front, now that’s maximizing your available grip.  Hope GotCone.com doesn’t mind me stealing their snaps.

2011 Super Stock national champion Matthew Braun in his Lotus Elise

With that, our first nationals experience was over, and it was time to load up the sexy U-Haul trailer and head home.  Sunshine went on a lot easier that evening than she did at 1:30 a.m. in the middle of my street with neither of us having had any sleep!  And there’s nothing like a 15 hour long drive to think about all the mistakes we made and the future cars we would like to build.  My Super Stock car’s not going anywhere, but there may be a blog about DSP in the future…

2011 scca solo nats day2 - 9  |  Rhino towing Sunshine on the rented U-Haul trailer...

Many thanks to my codriver, who made the arrangements for the trailer and whose “Rhino” made it possible for us to get the car to Lincoln in the first place.  Hopefully, next year, with some practice and coaching from my fellow SASCAers, including President Ricky who finished 3rd in B Stock and John in the “67 WHP” AE86, our results will improve!

2011 scca solo nats day2 - 1  |  Co-driver Jay...

You have to say about Eric’s persistence at his Nationals SOLO level of competition, he doesn’t quit!  He’ll be needing more work on the “nut” behind the wheel.  But Eric is getting GREAT experience. Learn me some autocross technique.  Racing Ready is way behind in autocross experience!

Dan

Official USGP Race Date Confirmed & Recent COTA News

Formula 1 2012 Calendar

It’s now REALLY official!  The Austin Formula 1 USGP race will take place on November 18, 2012.  Here’s the official  FIA confirmation of the 2012 Formula One calendar showing the US F1 Grand Prix to take place in Austin on November 18th.

31 Aug 2011

FIA confirms 20-race calendar for 2012

The FIA has released a confirmed calendar for the 2012 season following a fax vote by members of the World Motor Sport Council. The addition of the United States round makes for a 20-race season, which will get underway in Australia on March 18. The season finale will take place in Brazil on November 25.

2012 FIA Formula One World Championship calendar:
18/03 Australia
25/03 Malaysia
15/04 China
22/04 Bahrain
13/05 Spain
27/05 Monaco
10/06 Canada
24/06 Europe
08/07 Great Britain
22/07 Germany
29/07 Hungary
02/09 Belgium
09/09 Italy
23/09 Singapore
07/10 Japan
14/10 Korea
28/10 India
04/11 Abu Dhabi
18/11 United States
25/11 Brazil

Here’s a recent, quality “Formula 1 is coming to the USA!” promo video from grid1.tv:

Circuit of The Americas – Premier, Purpose-Built International Racing Facility

Video Intro to New, Purpose-Built Racetrack in the USA - Circircuit of The Americas

Racing Ready Exclusive from COTA – documented, timely notes & images:

Recently I was at the Circuit of The Americas (COTA) track environs & captured these panoramic shots from the northwest/west side of the track property, from McAngus Rd.

COTA signature Turn 1 as viewed from east of track

Please be sure to click on the images to enlarge, & click again to enjoy the detail!

COTA ground level panorama view from east of track

Afterwords, I swung by Wild Bubba’s Wild Game Grill to say “Howdy!” & quench my thirst.  As an after benefit, I got to see  The Speed City Cam, (230X zoom webcam, mounted atop a 40 foot Rohn tower!).  This is being facilitated by Vance Facundo, of the Friends of the Circuit of The Americas FB page.  This is located in an area east of the COTA track.

Speed City Cam tower foundation, east of COTA

Speed City Cam tower, just east of COTA

Vance is still awaiting the finalization of the tower installation for rock solid image stability.  Therefore, we’ll have to wait a bit longer until we can see LIVE track images…

Speed City Cam - Coming Soon!!!

Yesterday I learned about a coordinated logistical effort between COTA & the ABIA (Austin-Bergstrom International Airport).  I was informed the FAA folks working with the ABIA control tower are discussing helicopter flight lines and routing.  It may be the case that round-trip helicopter transfers between ABIA & COTA & back will be charging $50.00.  Apparently this is the going rate of similar trips between the DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth) Airport & the Texas Motor Speedway.  This just might be worth it,  depending on the proposed race day congestion.

Jenson Button, Vodafone Formula 1 driver, getting buzzed by a helicoptor

Racing Ready continues to bring you other views & news, different from the common buzz!

Dan