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.

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

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…

Important Austin F1 Club Meeting, 18-Jun-2011

Austin F1 Club Annual Meeting - June 18, 2011, at Wild Bubba's, from 2p to 4p!

Since getting dialed into the Austin Formula 1 USGP community last weekend, I feel I have my finger on the pulse of what is going on.  This coming Saturday is an important meeting of the Austin F1 Club.  Let me simply post Club President Charlie Robinson’s message here, verbatim:

This will be a very special meeting to discuss the future of Austin F1 Club and some changes that are being proposed. We ask that we get as many together as possible as we’ll be voting on some new ideas. Thank you and look forward to seeing you all there.

WHERE: Wild Bubba’s Wild Game Grill
13912 FM 812
Del Valle, TX 78617    MAP

WHEN: Saturday June 18 2011 – 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Wild Bubba's Wild Game Grill - SO much more than WILD Hamburgers - just east of COTA, in Elroy, TX!

Racing Ready will be in attendance, as well as visiting other motorsports related activities this Saturday.  If you can, please plan to attend.  I’m sure you won’t regret it…

Thank you!

Dan

Austin F1 USGP/COTA Site Visit, June ’11, Part 3

Once again, this past weekend’s visit to Austin was very worthwhile.  It followed a COTA & Austin USGP Formula 1 theme.   Part 1 reviews the ongoing site construction progress of COTAPart 2 covers the Wild Bubba’s Meet, Greet & Eat social event.

Austin F1 Club logo

This post, Part 3,  chronicles the Austin F1 Club (a gathering of like-minded Austin friends of Formula 1) enjoying a race watching party:

Part 3 – Austin F1 Club watches Montreal GP race,
Sunday afternoon…

On Sunday, June 12th, 2011, local Austin Formula 1 race fans gathered at a great chicken wings/sports bar establishment, Wingzup, for the  Formula 1 Grand Prix Du Canada 2011.

Wingzup - Multimedia Meet Wings Sports Bar, in Austin, TX

We were welcomed as out of town guests for this informal race watching party.  Wingzup is a GREAT place to watch this sporting event – 29 (!) LCD screens all around and a sound system that is definitely not shy on volume.

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

The Austin F1 Club, Montreal GP watching party, showing the entrance of Wingzup with lots of screens, in Austin, TX

We missed the race start (a long wait at the Waffle House), & got there by lap 7.  It had been some time (years?) since I really followed Formula 1 racing seriously.  Watching the first few high-def laps in this environment with all these new enthusiastic friends was very good.  Unfortunately, due to heavy rain, the Montreal Formula1 race was red flagged on lap 25.

2011 Canadian Grand Prix  2 hours of red flag!  (Image by Reuters)

So, in the meantime I introduced myself & this Racing Ready blog.  Also, Sondra & Charlie thanked Wingzup & talked about the Austin F1 Club future meetings & important plans.

Sondra thanking Wingzup & Charlie announcing future Austin F1 Club plans!

In addition, Robert showed off his new piece of trivia treasure.  This was an aerilon from an airplane formerly owned by Formula1 multi-champion great, Ayrton Senna.  Here’s a shot of him display this piece with great pride, from  the previous night at Wild Bubba’s Meet, Greet & Eat event.

Robert with Ayrton Senna plane aerilon - his trivia treasure!

The reg flag duration lasted about 2 hours, but it was well worth the wait.  It must have been a slow event day as the FOX Network broadcast during the whole 2 hours.

Red flag means racing is stopped!

The rest of the race, & especially those last few laps, was very exciting.  Seeing the results of how both the KERS & DRS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System & Drag Reduction System) systems influenced the final podium standings was spellbinding.  Count me in as a Formula1 race fan, once again!

Jenson Button winning the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix

Racing Ready is planning to be more involved in the promotion & information sharing of the Austin Formula 1 USGP, along with the construction progress of the Circuit of The Americas (COTA).  With the construction crew now working 7 days a week, & a looming June 17, 2012 Formula 1 USGP deadline, things need to be put in place soon!

Formula 1 USGP - Austin, TX 2012 !

I hope you enjoyed this overview of our trip exploratory trip to Austin last weekend.  For full disclosure, here are links, again, to the previous posts on this series of three:

  • For reviews & panoramic pix of ongoing COTA site progress, read Part 1
  • For coverage of Wild Bubba’s Meet, Greet & Eat social event, read Part 2

Dan

Austin F1 USGP/COTA Site Visit, June ’11, Part 2

Last weekend’s Austin visit was very worthwhile, with an Austin USGP Formula1, COTA theme.   Yesterday I documented some different track construction developments on the COTA site.   Today’s post chronicles the Wild Bubba’s Meet, Greet & Eat social gathering of like-minded Austin friends of Formula 1. This is the second installment:

Part 2 – The social gathering of Austin-area F1 fans, Saturday evening…

Wild Bubba's Meet, Greet & Eat Banner

Meeting Bubba of “Speed City, TX” (aka Wild Bubba’s Exotic Game Grill in Elroy, TX), was a pleasant experience.  He is a tall, charming & sincere Texas gentleman.

Wild Bubba & Racing Ready Dan at the Meet, Greet & Eat, June 11, 2011

He put on this Meet, Greet & Eat event that was openly received by fans of the Austin area/region.  There were between 50 to 60 people in attendance at The Hitchin’ Post, in SE Austin.

Wild Bubba's Meet, Greet & Eat at the Hitchin' Post

I was able to meet up with many influential Formula 1 friends & ardent supporters.

Wild Bubba's Meet, Greet & Eat at the Hitchin' Post patio

Besides race fans, there was a visit from the Red Bull girls…

Red Bull Girls & F1 fans @ Wild Bubba's Meet, Greet & Eat

To make it even more interesting, Stefan brought a significant amount of Formula1 memorabilia from his attic to display.  There was some cool stuff, as you can see!

Formula1 memorabilia table by Stefan & Angel...

Food was aplenty – sausage & hot dogs with sauerkraut, as well as Kobe style burgers.  It was bring your own German) beer, but Bubba had more beers, soda & water for the asking.  Bubba is in the planning stages for an even bigger event this coming October – an Oktoberfest – Wild Bubba Formula1 style!  I’ll tell you this – I’m already there!

Sondra & I discussing the strategic vision of Formula1 in Austin

Tomorrow will be Part 3, the coverage of the Montreal Formula 1 race watching party.  Racing Ready will see you then…

Dan

Austin F1 USGP/COTA Site Visit, June ’11, Part 1

This past weekend’s visit to Austin was very fruitful, in an Austin USGP Formula1, COTA (Circuit of The Americas) sort of way.  The events & happenings were distinct in their own right.  I will present in them in 3 parts.  Here is the first installment:

Part 1 – Track site visit, around COTA, afternoon…

Construction of the track moves steadily forward. Exiting Highway 130 onto FM 812, the distant vista of the developing track 2 miles away is impressive.  But driving past the site was a bit disorienting.

Please note, to best enjoy these shots, especially the panoramic views,
click on them to enlarge, then click on the image to see even more details!

COTA vista from near Hwy 130 & FM 812

When I last visited, 7 months ago, the track site was fully covered in Central Texas mesquite & scrub brush.  In it’s place was a great wall of dirt, much of it very much higher than than the original grade.  I took a panoramic shot from the same location back on my November 2010 visit, prior to the COTA track site groundbreaking in December 2010.

Before:

Austin USGP Formula 1 Track Site - Before panorama, from the south, looking north, nortwest!

After:

After panorama shot from June 11. 2011 of COTA site - looking north across FM 812

Although I had no special COTA construction site access, I was able to find a few out-of-the-way locations to snap up some different site progress construction shots.  Like many of you, I have seen quite a few pictures already taken.  But seeing the Circuit of The Americas site in person was very inspiring.

Circuit of The Americas construction site signage - announcing proudly to the world!

Two-dimensional images cannot convey the vast amount of dirt being moved, the surprising amount of land elevation changes – just the whole grand scale of this work is quite a lot to take in & absorb. The COTA site takes advantage of the natural variety of Elroy, Texas topography.

COTA Turn 11 gate - see the little flag in the middle indicating the turn number...

I was able to traverse an unmarked,very rocky back road that revealed turn 11 (that’s the number 11 on the flag in the photo above).  Wow, the viewing area from this location will be awesome.  I’m thinking you can see at least 3/4s of the track from there!

COTA view from near turn 11, looking generally SW, toward the start/finish line...

So you can witness that Karlino & I were there, check out this view!

COTA sweeping overview from near turn 11, with Karlino looking on...

A truck would have been much more appropriate to traverse this rocky country lane.  As it was, I was feathering 1st gear slowly & felt the rocks scrape Karlino‘s belly a few times.  The sacrifices I make… 😉

Country lane west of Elroy Road, just south of Jacobson Road - this is access to the Turn 11 gate..JPG

The construction crew is now working 7 days a week.  With a June 17, 2012 Formula1 USGP event to put on in about a year, they need to be crackin’!

COTA view of parked graders & other construction equipment...

We stopped by the original Wild Bubba’s eatery.  Of course it was closed for the Meet, Greet & Eat event held later that evening.  Here are some views of his establishment.

Welcome Formula 1 sign outside Wild Bubba's Grill!

Wild Bubba's Grill in Elroy, TX - just to the easy of the Circuit of The Americas entrance

Karlino, my trusty Miata steed, enjoying the billboard menu outside Wild Bubba' Grill...

Racing Ready is wanting to get all of South/Central Texas ready for Formula 1 exposure.  I’m surprised that many people I meet have NO clue that Austin will be hosting this event, let alone. the COTA construction project.  I may as well try to make it my mission to inform all that I meet, in person & online!

Tomorrow will be Part 2, the Wild Bubba’s Meet, Greet & Eat social event.  See you then…

Dan

Wild Bubba’s Formula1 Meet, Greet & Eat

The Formula 1 Event of the Year for Texas!

This is a must attend event for those of you interested in the Formula1 Austin USGP (United States Grand Prix) at COTA (Circuit of The Americas)!  This is being brought to you by Wyman “Wild Bubba” Gilliam.

Wyman 'Wild Bubba' Gilliam

The announcement this past week of the June 17 2012 date for the 1st United States Grand Prix at the new Circuit of the Americas track outside Austin Texas is just one more step in the process. $450 million US Dollars have been committed to build and finish out the facility. Construction is proceeding at maximum speed. More personnel have been hired. Other events such as MotoGP have been added to the calendar and many more are in early planning stages. Formula 1 fans across the Americas and indeed the world are making hotel reservations and putting travel plans in place to be here in person for the first race.

Central Texans can hardly believe their good luck. Local enthusiasts are accelerating their appreciation for F1 and get together as a group to watch every race. The first tour of the track is being offered to fans this week. Wild Bubbas Wild Game Grill in Speed City Texas (administratively known as Elroy Texas,  it is the actual home of the new track) is the defacto hangout for fans and includes a growing shrine of images, videos and memorabilia. Located in Elroy next to the track, you never know who you will sit down next to for lunch or dinner (for our most recent visit there, it was a table of Tilke engineers!!).

In appreciation, Wild Bubba’s is offering a free gathering with complementary German food and BYOB beer. This will be an absolutely unique experience, your chance to socialize with enthusiasts from all around – and maybe even meet a special someone who shares a few common interests with you! More people have met their special someone at these events than all of the best biker dating websites out there combined, so we highly recommend it if you’re looking to meet someone. RSVP by email as shown in the invitation below. And if you need a hotel, choose one near the Austin Airport.

Wild Bubba's Meet, Greet & Eat, June 11, 2011

Racing Ready WILL be in attendance!  Hope to see you there…

Dan