Tuesday, January 8, 2013

USGP @ COTA: F1 cars, Veyrons, Texas Blondes, Podium Cowboy Hats, and Long Hot Dog Lines....oh and Lots of Fun

The United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas is something for American racing fans to be proud of. After the embarrassment that was USF1, the USA is back on the F1 map in a big way and I am very happy I was able attend the inaugural USGP at COTA. The weather was great and we couldn't have asked for a more perfect weekend with family and friends.

First off, the track is immaculate - great elevation change, exciting layout, and the signature Turn 1. The permanent stands and pit-lane buildings are spectacular; it was great to see a track like this on American soil.  We sat in the Turn 5 bleachers which were at the end of the esses section. We had a great view of the cars exiting the downhill Turn 2 and then charging up to the esses at 180+ mph. The cars only disappeared from view as they entered Turn 6. I really only have two complaints from the weekend - not enough food vendors (long hot dog lines) and the temporary bleachers setup in Turn 5 and other areas around the track are very uncomfortable for a 2 hour race. That is literally all I would change, after all of the traffic worries, skepticism about the track layout and predicted lack of passing, the race organizers and track officials did a great job. All of the COTA personnel were very friendly and gave everybody a nice "Texas Welcome." Each trip to and from the track was very easy with virtually no traffic. The only delay was right after the race when I had to wait in line for about 45 minutes to an hour for our shuttle. After the ten minute ride to the lot, we hit no traffic and drove straight home. Not bad for 120,000 people leaving the track at the same time after the first race. With 1 year of practice under their belts, next year's USGP is going to be fantastic.

Here is the few from our seats from FP2:

Race Start:

Here are some more photos from the F1 weekend (the good ones were taken by my Dad):
On the Pit Straight
My first Veyron sighting
Red Bull Block Party at the Austin Fan Fest
Tyrell P34
More Historic F1 Cars
Kimi at the Driver Intro
The line for hot dogs......
Felipe mid-corner in Turn 5
The on-track action did not disappoint
There are a lot of great drivers named Sebastian....
Forza Ferrari

Here are links to my Dad's photos:
F1 Race
Grand Prix Historics
F1 Practice

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