Category Archives: Circuit of The Americas

Articles pertaining to the Circuit of The Americas, the racing & other high end entertainment & sports medicine facility being built in Austin, TX. This facility will host Formla1 racing, as well as the MotoGP series & other racing events.

One Year Before the Race – Wild Bubba’s Meet, Greet & Eat!

Wild Bubba's Meet, Greet and Eat - 'One Year Before The Race'

This past summer, Wild Bubba of Wild Bubba’s Wild Game Grill, kicked off the first Wild Bubba’s Meet, Greet & Eat.  It was a quality get-together of Formula 1 race fans & an interesting variety of people involved in the Austin area racing community.  Now, here’s the important event announcement on Facebook!

Wild Bubba's Wild Game Grill - Meet, Greet and Eat - 'One Year Before The Race'

Here are the specific details about this event:

All Racing Fan’s…This is the one event you don’t want to miss! Racing fan’s from all over will be meeting and greeting while dining on delicious Burgers from Wild Bubba’s Wild Game Grill.  Shiner Beer will be available as well as soda and water.
The event will feature:
– 2 F1 racing simulators for your racing pleasure
– A fashion expo from Congruent Style
– Booths from various social media organizations
– Door prizes including a Grand Prize to be drawn
– Live Music featuring “The Volente Beach Boys”
– Cash Burger and Beer Bar.
Come out to the Hitchin’ Post, which features a huge outdoor deck with plenty of room to mingle and talk F1.  You never know who might show up.
😉

The Hitchin' Post

Don’t make the mistake I did last summer.  This event will not be at the actual Wild Bubba’s Wild Game Grill location in Elroy, TX.  The Hitchin’ Post is about 1 mile north of the ABIA Airport, off of Tollway 130 at 12100 FM 969, Austin, Texas.  Here’s a map – click to enlarge…

Hitchin' Post map

Racing Ready will be there.  If you are at all interested in the Austin F1 USGP, this countdown kickoff party will BE the place to be!  You want to, need to show!!!

Dan

BBC Sport Version of Austin F1 Coulthard Video

BBC Sport – Coulthard Drives Off-Road
on New Circuit of The Americas

This is the BBC version of footage depicting David Coulthard & the F1 Team Red Bull crew descending upon Austin this past summer.  Although it’s not as slick as the highly edited Red Bull video, I like it better as it has a LOT more fulfilling content.  It’s very enjoyable & informative!

Coulthard drives off-road on new Circuit of The Americas - by BBC Sport

Visit this BBC Sport site to open & view their 5 & 1/2 minute video.  You will get a good review of some of the very interesting personalities behind the USGP Formula 1 coming to Austin next year.  🙂

In addition, this was the exciting buildup of information surrounding the filming & preparation of the original Red Bull Racing Team Austin F1 video – some good snippets here that you won’t see in either of the other 2 videos!

San Antonio F1Club - Celebrating the Formula 1 Fiesta!

Racing Ready is stoked about F1 racing coming to Austin.  We’re SO so enthused, in fact, there is in formation a new San Antonio F1 Club that is gaining traction, here!  This is a grassroots effort to bring together like-minded fans, to have F1 race watching parties & much – follow here for more information!

Dan

San Antonio F1 Club - Celebrating the Formula One Fiesta!

2011 Bathurst 1000 V8 Supercars LIVE!

I finally got to see V8 Supercars racing action.  So, why is this important?  V8 Supercars racing action will be here in the USA in the Spring of 2013, at Circuit of The Americas (COTA), in Austin, Texas!

Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 - The Great Race

I saw the 2011 Bathurst 1000, via DVR recording enjoyment.  This was the first live broadcast of these dedicated fast racers for the USA audience.  They really picked one of their pinnacle race track events to debut here, live.  For us non-metric types, that’s 620 miles!!!  (161 laps X 3.85 miles)  Thankfully, these “always on” race duties are shared between 2 co-drivers.  The 2011 Bathurst 1000 winners of the Toll Holden Racing Team are Garth Tander and Nick Percat, seen below, celebrating their victory.  BTW, this was only rookie Percat’s second V8 Supercars race.

Tander & Percat celebrating their 2011 Bathurst 1000 win.

The Bathurst 1000…

It is known among fans and broadcasters as “The Great Race”, and is widely regarded as the pinnacle of Australian motorsport.

Bathurst 1000 track map at the Mount Panarama Circuit

To sweeten the pot & make this type of racing more palatable to NASCAR racing fans, they brought along Darrell Waltrip, of NASCAR Championship fame.  He put his own unique twist to the the color commentary.  You could say that Darrell took the cake.  He was given a no-holds-barred ride-along for a very hot lap in a Holden (GM) V8 Supercar (running 650HP).  Enjoy this video clip:

Wow, I really like road racing, but this long course & the challengingly narrow uphill & downhill sections, with speeds up to 200MPH is just beyond words.  Here’s the start & first 2 laps of this race – can you say exciting?

Watching the these guys after they had almost completed 6 & 1/2 hours (!) of racing, I really respected the super close & competitive final nose to bumper last 2 laps.  These Aussies raced both hard & respectfully clean.

The V8 Supercars are based on modified versions of Australia’s two most popular, and most rivaled, passenger cars, the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore (Holden is a General Motors Australia brand, like our Chevrolet).  Unlike NASCAR racing cars, these cars still look like & are the same shape as their road going brethren.  I think they even use the real headlights & taillights, not sticker facsimiles!  As to fuel, all V8 Supercars run on 85 percent CSR Ethanol (E85).  For more details & specifics, visit http://v8supercars.com.au.

Racing Ready is now even more excited in anticipation of the Spring of 2013, when V8 Supercars arrives at COTA!  WOW…

Dan
P.S. – I have to include this informative & brief history of the Bathurst 1000 – you can appreciate why it is SO highly regarded.

P.P.S. – Here’s another track/race to put on Racing Ready the bucket list!

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

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

Coulthard & Red Bull Racing Burn Up Austin City Streets

Red Bull Racing brought their Formula 1 Show Car to downtown Austin.  This was to be a non-public, non-published event.   Bottom line, Red Bull had let the ponies out of the barn, too soon.  It wasn’t supposed to be a event known to the general public.  The ever ready Austin Formula 1 race fan community, with their fingers on the pulse of anything Austin USGP-related, found out about it & it spread like wildfire.

Red Bull logo on their promotional Formula 1 Racing Show Car, driven by David Coulthard - Photo by Jon Etkins

I had hoped to get there & witness the action in person, but no, I was snookered into thinking it wasn’t going to happen, that it had been canceled.  I now realize I was not diligent enough in reading the various last minute posts on Facebook, et al, to figure out that it was again a go.  Apparently, something at the city level were approved late last Friday night…

David Coulthard launches his Red Bull Formula 1 Race Car in the city streets of Austin, Texas - Photo by Deborah Cannon, American-Statesman

Therefore, this report is really a recapping of the works of others’ eyewitness accounts of individuals I know & did meet with later in the day.  This was at the Austin Formula 1 Club (AF1C) Meet & Greet After Party at Doc’s Motorworks, in South Austin.  I briefly met with Charlie Robinson, head coordinator of the AF1C & others of the club.

AF1C - Austin Formula 1 Club logo

Also present were the folks from The Austin Grand Prix group.  I already knew of this website & was formally introduced to Kevin Olsen, on of the group’s co-founders.  He acknowledged how we are all working toward the same goal here, to support increased fan awareness of the Austin Formula 1 USGP, staring next year at Circuit of The Americas (COTA).  These are the T-shirts with their logos they offer for sale on the web.

COME AND RACE IT - T-shirt Design by The Austin Grand Prix

It all started very early Saturday morning.  The ever vigilant, Sondra Sondregger, shot out a great event prep teaser  candid shot via Facebook – this was at 6:54AM!

The Red Bull Racing Show Car crew, getting organized early Saturday morning, 20-AUG-2011 - Photo by Sondra Sondregger

Later in the morning, as I finally made my way Austin bound, I received more updates.  I was disheartened that the event (that was supposedly canceled) pretty much came to pass  with former Formula 1 driver David Coulthard (DC) doing a few city block “laps” and ending his performance with a truly earsplitting, tire chunk spitting series of donuts.

David Coulthard doing expensive donuts in the Red Bull Racing Formula 1 Show Car - Photo taken by John Etkins

Here’s one of many videos circulating the Internet.  I chose this one by Sondra as it’s the most assertively loud one I found…turn up your speakers!

The Red Bull Racing Show Car is a 2005 RB1 chassis with the Cosworth V10 and the 2009 aero package – thanks Jon!  BTW, Jon Etkins put together 2 very thorough galleries of quality stills pix of the following Red Bull Racing promo events in Austin:

DC had wondered about & later picked up on the fact the the Hook ‘Em Horns hand signal was a good thing!

David Coulthard, Red Bull Racing Show Car driver, showing the crowd he can Hook 'Em Horns with the best of them!

Enough people found out about this event to make a good showing.  There were easily more than a hundred people there.  David Coulthard was sufficiently impressed by the spirit & enthusiasm of the fans that showed up & cheered.  Here are DC’s thoughts in a nicely prepared video posted by the COTA.

Apparently a day prior, David was given a good tour of COTA by Tavo Hellmund (managing partner of race promoter Full Throttle Productions), as this picture at the pinnacle of the developing track at turn 1 attests.

Tavo Hellmund describing the future COTA track layout to David Coulthard, at the peak of turn 1.

One of the eyewitnesses, Jon Etkins, heard DC say that he wasn’t able to get out of 2nd gear – with only 2 city blocks, or so.  Well, somewhere in the vicinity of FM 812, near Speedcity (Elroy), TX, David Coulthard was able to release the furry of that ferocious V10 Formula 1 racing engine.  Check out this video, posted on Facebook by Jack! (Sorry, you’ll have to login to Facebook to see it…)

Screamin' Red Bull V10 Formula 1 race car, piloted at terminal velocity by David Coulthard

WOW!!!  Hope you had your ear plugs handy…

I’m glad I didn’t post this collection of Austin Red Bull Racing events earlier.  Here’s some unbelievable still pix of the future Red Bull video promo.  I just came across these…

David Coulthard, arriving at the Circuit of The Americas, in the Red Bull Racing Formula 1 Show Car!

Going up the hill to turn 1 – that looks steeper than I remember it!

The 1st Formula 1 car, the Red Bull Racing Show Car, at speed on the yet to be paved track surface at the Circuit of The Americas!

Here’ some of the on-track (still dry Texas clay) video filmed at COTA, on a hot Sunday, August 21st, 2011!

Well, I’m impressed by what I saw (virtually) & talked about with a variety of eyewitnesses.  Racing Ready is really rarin’ to go about all of this!

Dan

Austin F1 USGP Race Date Confirmed by Ecclestone

Circuit of The Americas (checkered banner)

Okay Formula 1 fans of the Austin USGP, here’s a confirming announcement we’ve all been waiting for, directly from Bernie Ecclestone:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 10, 2011

Ecclestone Statement Confirms United States Grand Prix™ in November
U.S. Race Date Among Numerous Schedule Adjustments

AUSTIN, Texas – August 10, 2011 – Formula One’s Bernie Ecclestone was quoted today in the media confirming earlier reports of a revised 2012 F1 schedule, placing the United States Grand Prix on November 18, 2012. The schedule, which contains numerous adjustments from the calendar issued in June by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, is not considered official until the World Motor Sports Council ratifies it at its meeting later this year.

[There’s more…]

Complete details of this press release can be seen here.

Of course, Racing Ready is pleased with this race date move confirmation to November 18th, 2012, the weekend just before Thanksgiving.  More here, as things develop at the Circuit of The Americas.
Dan