Category Archives: Formula1 Austin USGP

Articles of interest regarding the development of the Formula 1 Austin United States Grand Prix (USGP) track, race, & related activities.

CoTA Construction Progress, Detailed Numbers

Entering the front straight construction progress of Circuit of The Americas (mid May 2012)

Here’s the latest progress report form Circuit of The Americas, with solid, detailed numbers & facts (our thanks to AutoWeek.com):

Construction is ongoing at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.  Several upgrades are being made, and the project is expected to be finished in the fall.

Here are a few of the updates that are being worked on:

Pit Building

-Window frames are going in

-Approximately 75 percent of the exterior walls are complete

-Approximately 75 percent of the roof is complete

-Painting interior walls

-Getting the garage level ready to pour concrete

Main Grandstand

-Approximately 75 percent of the steel has gone up

-Approximately 100 percent of the pre-cast seating area is done

-Steel on the back of the main grandstand is expected to begin going up next week

-Top floor (suite level) of grandstand expected to be poured by the end of next week

Other updates

-Foundation for pedestrian bridges at T16 and T3 are approximately 75 percent complete

-North parking lot (T11-12) rough-graded, meaning it is ready to receive flex base

-COTA Blvd. from Elroy Rd. is expected to receive flex base by the end of the week, after which paving can begin

-Work continues on the south parking area

-Remainder of piers expected to go up in amphitheater by end of this week

Construction Progress by the Numbers

-3.9 million cubic yards of dirt moved

-870,000 cubic yards of dirt brought to site

-736 tons of steel erected at the Grandstand

-79,000 yards of concrete have been poured

-Approximately 575 workers currently on site

Read more: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20120517/F1/120519831#ixzz1vAtNZf9Z

Aerial view of CoTA front straight area construction progress (mid May 2012)

Lots of good stuff to review here.  Racing Ready is also looking forward to Formula Expo™, on June 16-17, 2012.  If you’re truly serious about attending the Austin Formula 1 USGP racing event this coming November 2012, you WILL attend this event.

Be there – RACE ON !

Dan

CoTA 3-Day Passes Ticketing Survey

I recently participated in Circuit of The America‘s 3-Day Passes Ticketing Applied Surveys.  After having tried to exhaust the PSL (personal seating license) scheme, they are now trying for the “low hanging fruit”.

CoTA - Please Complete a Brief Survey

Here are the comments I submitted along with my survey answers:

I have been planning for this event for almost 2 years now, first blogging about it at http://RacingReady.com & now facilitating a Formula 1 race watch party series via http://SanAntonioF1Club.com.

Besides the grassy areas for General Admission, I would like to be able to wander around the track during those 3 days & not be restricted to JUST those 3 grassy areas.  My plan has been to gather further photographic, & interview data to publish on my blogs.  This will be to further promote the sport, as well as the current & upcoming events planned at Circuit of The Americas.

Also, you make no mention of any sort of Pit Pass access – is that not open to any sort of consideration?  And what of the different buildings’ access, accompanied with the different pricing levels?  This almost feels like we are being subjected to a caste system of ticketing!

I hope you are well represented at the upcoming Formula Expo.  I’m sure I, as well as many other passionate F1 fans, will be plying you with many of these & other pressing questions.  Please be prepared…

Remember, grassroots race fans (many of whom are amateur racers, themselves) might not be able to pay the higher ticket amounts you are proposing.  But they have a STRONG online voice that will strongly influence what many prospective fans will think of Circuit of The Americas & its future successful growth.

Click here to see the reviews on some of the best convertible baby car seats released.

Thank you – RACE ON!

One way or the other, I’m planning on being there.  I’d really like to be represented as some sort of contributing blogger, but they might consider me small potatoes.  I’m sure this impression would be better & more positive if Tavo Hellmund was still truly part of all this!

We’ll see if this might rustle some CoTA feathers – we here at Racing Ready shall see…

Dan

Speed City Podcast, Motorsports Resource

Speed City Podcast logo

For all sorts of information about the interaction of Formula 1, Circuit of The Americas (CoTA) & other motorsports-related activities in the Austin & South/Central Texas area, this is the podcast (weekly, more or less) you will need to listen to.  Go to:  http://speedcitypodcast.com

Red Bull F1 (with David Coulthard) at Turn 8, in 2011!

Les & Jon do a great job of describing automotive/racing happenings, they even mention the SAF1C race watch parties! (Select podcast #5, 22:12 in…)  Here’s what they have to say about themselves:

Jon and Les are pure and absolute motorsports nuts who consume anything motorsports related.  From month to month our focus shifts to the current hot topic, whether it is worldwide or centric to Central Texas.

Both have participated as drivers and spectators numerous times in motorsporting events, be they club, private or open to the public. On any given day, during our non-corporate hours, we can be found wrenching on something fun, learning about new technology, attending car/bike shows or watching races.

In our pod casts, we will do our best to provide reliable information, as we become aware of it.  We will reference direct quotes and legitimate media sources as the source. We are not here to perpetuate rumors or make inflammatory statements, neither are we lawyers!

We hope you enjoy our pod cast and look forward to hearing from you after you have listened to them.

Racing Ready supports Speed City Podcast & you should, too!

Dan

1st F1 Race Watch Party in San Antonio!

F1 Austalian GP - Melbourne, Albert Park - March 18, 2012

San Antonio Formula 1 race fans – finally, this is what we’ve been waiting for!  This coming Sunday (March 18th, 2012) will be the first F1 race watch party in San Antonio.  It was a challenge to find a sports bar location that already had DVR capability & watcher friendly TV screens with good audio capability.  This is the first Formula 1 race of the 2012 season, taking place down under, in Melbourne, Australia.  (per Formula1.com, this race is officially titled the 2012 Formula 1 Qantas Australian Grand Prix)

Lion & Rose British Restaurant & Pub - general logo

Yes!  The first San Antonio F1 race watch party will take place at the Lion & Rose British Restaurant & Pub in Alamo Heights, at 1:30pm, this Sunday March 18th, 2012!  Thanks to a referral from Tim Rooney, of Waxy O’Conner’s Irish Pub (on the San Antonio Riverwalk), I met Gregg Morgan of the Alamo Heights Lion & Rose.  They currently DVR a multitude of soccer & rugby matches from around the world.  Gregg stated there are already some Formula 1 fans that frequent his pub.  In addition, since it will be the day after St. Patrick’s Day, the pub will be like a ghost town.  He said we’d almost have the place to ourselves. GREAT!!!

Lion & Rose British Restaurant & Pub - the main bar

In addition to the pre-recorded F1 video feed, Gregg will put the F1 race audio over the general pub BOSE speaker system.  This location will be a great venue & a good first effort at a San Antonio-based social activity revolving around watching Formula 1 racing.

San Antonio F1 Club (SAF1C) logo

I hope you can make it to experience Formula 1 world class racing, with your friends.  Please note, this will be great preparation for learning what’s new this year in Formula 1 (once again, new rules & regulations).  This could be considered a primer to help you get ready for (& more excited about) the upcoming Formula 1 race just south of Austin, coming up on November 18th, 2012 – the Austin F1 USGP, at the Circuit of The Americas (CoTA)!

CoTA signage - announcing the Circuit of The Americas race site - Home of the Austin F1 USGP! (Courtesy of Sutton Images)

The Lion & Rose pub offers a great selection of hand drawn pints of beer. In addition, they have a full menu with a broad variety of food that should please most anyone’s palate.

WE WILL SEE YOU THIS SUNDAY at 1:30pm, at the Lion & Rose Pub, Alamo Heights, 5148 Broadway, here in San Antonio, Texas.  🙂  With a good showing, we can continue at this location, unless some of you can suggest a possibly better location for the next Formula 1 race, scheduled the following Sunday, March 25th…  Here’s a map to the party! (Click to enlarge…)

Lion & Rose British Pub MAP!

I & Racing Ready look forward to seeing & meeting ALL of you!!!

Your San Antonio F1 Club, race watch party facilitator,

Dan

Lion & Rose British Restaurant & Pub -Union Jack logo

Tejas Miatas – Jester King Brewery & Salt Lick BBQ Run

 Tejas Miatas logo

This past weekend my wife, Isa, & I enjoyed a brisk, pre-spring, sun-filled drive around the southern environs of Austin, TX.  What prompted this was an announcement from the Tejas Miatas, one week prior:

Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2012
Subject: [tejasmiata] Jester King Brewery-Salt Lick BBQ run Sat Feb 25th

I have been talking about going out to the Jester King Brewery for awhile so I have decided to plan a run out there next Saturday and then head over to the Salt Lick in Driftwood for some BBQ afterward.

You can read about the brewery here:  http://www.jesterkingbrewery.com
and The Salt Lick here:  http://www.saltlickbbq.com

We will meet at 2:00pm at the Y at Oak Hill which is the intersection of Hwy 290 and Hwy 71, in the Planet Fitness parking lot,7100 W. US Highway 290.  We will leave at 2:30 sharp so that we make it to Jester King by 3:00, have some time to look around and then take the last tour at 3:30.

As most of us know about the Salt Lick, it is CASH ONLY.  No credit cards.  No separate checks.  I do think they have an ATM but I would get cash before the trip just in case.  It is also B.Y.O.B. so bring your ice chest and favorite beverages unless you just want water, tea, coffee, or sodas that they have.  Please RSVP by Thursday Feb. 23rd so I have an idea of the size of our group for the brewery tour.  Don’t fill up on lunch since we will be having an early dinner as we want to beat the crowds.

Kirk
President – Tejas Miatas
2006 Galaxy Gray GT

Since it had been a couple months since last traveling up the Austin-San Antonio corridor, I decided it would be good timing to make some visits.  I spent some time to visit my racing friends at H2R, now known as the Mazda Raceway at Harris Hill.  Although there was no event going on, there was a good amount of activity in the clubhouse, & on the track.  In reviewing raceway events progress with Philipp, things are moving forward well.  A lot of their growing exposure has been due to the sponsorship brought onboard with Roger Beasley Mazda – it’s been a win-win for both parties!

MAZDA Raceway at Harris Hill logo

Continuing north, I was able to assess the construction progress at the Circuit of The Americas (CoTA), from Piland Triangle.  As the November 18th, 2012 Austin F1 USGP event gets closer, I’m sure somebody influential will get that little triangular road renamed.  Any suggestions?

Austin USGP Formula 1 Track Site - Piland Triangle STOP sign.  This was prior to track construction, dated 14-NOV-2010.

Check out the latest vertical construction along the future CoTA front straight!
(Click to enlarge – click twice for best detail!)

CoTA Construction Progress panorama - 25-FEB-2012

As is usual for my visits to CoTA, I stopped in for lunch at Wild Bubba’s Will Game Grill.  Isa & I split a very tasty Southwestern Grilled Chicken Sandwich.  It was the least “wild” item on the menu, but both my wife & I agreed it was VERY tasty!!!  In addition, I was able to visit with my friend, Wild Bubba (Wyman Gilliam Jr.), & discuss future promotional opportunities that may be forthcoming.  I ALWAYS enjoy my visits there!

Wild Bubba's Wild Game Grill

Next, we traveled west to where Highway 71 & 290 split, at a Planet Fitness parking lot.  This was the starting spot for this Tejas Miata Run.

Getting organized for the Tejas Miatas run - 25-FEB-2012

Karlino awaiting the Tejas Miatas run start with clubmembers - 25-FEB-2012

The first leg of our run was drama free & taken at a leisurely pace.  We had little trouble keeping our mostly Miata group of about 14 cars (I think) together.

The Tejas Miatas run group, dominating the road to Jester King Brewery - 25-FEB-2012

Part of the Tejas Miatas run group, enroute to Jester King Brewery - 25-FEB-2012

From there we headed out, as a group, to the Jester King Craft Brewery.  This, to me, was the highlight of this afternoon’s run.  Located to the southwest of Austin, this craft-style brewery is following their brewmeister passion.  They are garnering a strong & growing fan base for specialty craft-brewed beer.

Tejas Miatas run parking, at Jester King Brewery - 25-FEB-2012

The Jester King Brew House, visited by Tejas Miatas - 25-FEB-2012

Tejas Miatas run, at Jester King Brewery parking lot - 25-FEB-2012

Josh gave us a tour which really explained their passion, which does not follow standard logic.  He is a former graphics designer (Josh is responsible for the unique brewery graphics & artwork); the founding partners are a former lawyer & a former investment banker.  Regardless of the practicality of their brewing direction, in less than 2 years in business they are doing well!

Josh, explaining their brewing process basics at Jester King Brewery - Tejas Miatas run - 25-FEB-2012

Josh, sharing the barrel room fermenting passion at Jester King Brewery - Tejas Miatas run - 25-FEB-2012

Here’s some of Tejas Miatas run group after Josh’s barrel fermentation room explanation.  Thanks Jon!

Partial group shot of Tejas Miatas at Jester King Craft Brewery - Courtesy of Jon Etkins

Later, once Josh found us out to be Miata driving enthusiasts, he confessed to enthusiast driving urges of his own.  He blamed viewing past episodes of Top Gear.  There’s nothing wrong with that, I say!  We even encouraged him to consider getting into autocrossing with his daily driver Honda Civic.

Josh, of Jester King Brewery, admiting his reawakening car passion with Tejas Miatas run participants - 25-FEB-2012

After having sampled some of Jester King’s unique brew libations, we then traveled further southwest to the Salt Lick BBQ, in Driftwood, TX.  We had only to wait 20 minutes for our 2 & 1/2 tables of seating.  (Again, click to enlarge…twice for more detail!)

Salt Lick BBQ casual seating - Tejas Miatas group to the left...

Everyone enjoyed a variety of Texas BBQ’d meats!  They had this interesting circular pit where the succulent meat fixin’s originated.  I hear you could order “burnt ends” – that’s what I’ll hold out for, next time.

Salt Lick BBQ's smokin' fire pit, a Texas meat lover's paradise - a great way to end the Tejas Miatas run!

This was a beautiful day to get out & about to see different things, reacquaint & make new friends.  Racing ReadyKarlino enjoyed this day immensely.  It was 217 miles well spent!

Karlino, my 1999 Mazda Miata, basking in the fun of a Tejas Miatas run...

Thank you Tejas Miatas!

Dan

F1 Drivers Anticipate Racing at Circuit of The Americas

Flaming Circuit of The Americas logo

Here are some actual impressions from current F1 drivers, anticipating the Austin USGP F1 race this coming November 18th, 2012.  It’s going to happen – in our back yard!

Mark Webber: “The track looks awesome.  It is a little bit old school, which is good because there are some sharp turns.”

Mexico’s Sergio Peres: “I’m really looking forward to racing in Austin…and to discover more about the new circuit.  It will be the closest race to my home.”

Jenson Button: “I remember racing in the States before in Indianapolis which was a good circuit.  But the steps that Austin have taken to make sure this is a proper F1™ circuit, I think we’re going to love it.  It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Racing Ready is also in anticipation.  Circuit of The Americas (CoTA) is less than 90 minutes away…
Follow what’s going on locally at my other blog – SanAntonioF1 Club.com

SanAntonioF1Club - Celebrating The F1 Fiesta!  (SAF1C Blog header)

See you there!

Dan

Speed City Cam – An Ever Vigilant Eye on Circuit of The Americas

Speed City Cam banner - http://www.speedcitycam.com/

From the Austin American-Statesman / statesman.com:

By Dave Doolittle | Thursday, January 26, 2012, 02:57 PM

A couple of longtime Elroy residents who have been closely following work out at Circuit of the Americas have set up a live 24-hour webcam so others can peek in on construction, too.

“We want to show that it’s happening, and that it’s going to happen. It’s a way to encourage people who want to see the track and who want to see the race.” said Vance Facundo, an administrator of the Friends of Formula One Austin, Texas Facebook page. He operates the camera with Wyman Gilliam, owner of Wild Bubba’s Wild Game Grill near the circuit.

The Speed City Cam is set atop a 40-foot tower on property just east of the circuit and pans to several fixed positions every few seconds. Facundo said he can point the camera anywhere work is going on.

Unfortunately, a house blocks the view of the paddock buildings and main grandstand, where the bulk of the work is currently taking place.

The Speed City Cam website has had about 5,000 views since it went live a few weeks ago, and two to three people are usually watching at any given time, Facundo said.

Work has been going on at the circuit six days a week, officials have said, and they expect to have it completed in time for the inaugural race Nov. 16 through 18. Crews have occasionally poured slabs for buildings at night, when the weather is cooler and trucks can avoid Austin traffic, an engineer told the American-Statesman.

Facundo said the camera will only show the circuit during construction and will be redirected once the track becomes operational.

Click here to check out the Speed City Cam

Know that Racing Ready was there (over 7 months ago!), much before the Speed City Cam was atop that 40 foot Rohn tower.  😉

Dan