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      08-06-2012, 02:39 AM   #1
Koop
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Just took a lap of Circuit of the Americas!

Now, mind you...it wasn't a hot lap. Construction is still VERY much ongoing. But the entire track--including the start/finish straight--now has asphalt. Final layers will be put down in the next few weeks.

All I can say is WOW. Aerial photos and renders don't do justice to the elevation change in the first 2 sectors. Standing on the newly laid asphalt of the start/finish straight and looking up at Turn 1 is like looking at an asphalt wall 6 stories high. Not kidding. Front row on the grid has to shoot straight uphill and make the ridiculous blind hairpin at Turn 1. Expect major action on the first lap at that point!

Turns 3-8 are a mix of on- and off-camber, undulating corners, some of which are completely blind. What struck me most is the elevation change in this section. It's a writhing serpent.

The main straight (DRS zone) between 11-12 is uphill and partially blind due to the gradual crest. Turn 12 is the best overtaking point on the track and will be a great place to watch from. A lot has already been said about 13-15, a fantastic flat and technical section. 16-18 is a triple apex sequence reminiscent of turn 8 at Istanbul Park (but to the right instead of the left). Fantastic.

Major overtaking points at turns 1, 11 and 12. There will be a LOT of action at COTA. Due to the elevation change, there are tons of great places to watch from (whether you have GA or a seat).

In my opinion COTA has a level of character that is lacking in some of Tilke's other creations. For all those who believe Tilke occasionally designs "boring" tracks...this is certainly not one of them!

I've been following construction and the drama surrounding the project pretty closely and was worried that the facility would be disappointing after hearing about how it was scaled back. All of those fears were allayed after touring the facility--it's going to be truly world class.

As a side note, I'm very happy to hear that COTA will be hosting a Historic Grand Prix for vintage F1 cars (1966-1983) during F1 weekend. VERY cool. And it looks like there will be announcements about MotoGP and American Le Mans very soon!

For all of you that have tickets...start getting excited. It's going to be a fantastic race weekend.

Pictures when I get my camera back.


http://circuitoftheamericas.com/

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      08-06-2012, 04:24 AM   #2
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Neat!
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      08-06-2012, 11:23 AM   #3
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That is awesome! Thanks for the description. Turn 12 here I come!
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      08-06-2012, 02:20 PM   #4
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I took a slight detour yesterday on my way back to Houston to check out the track. Turn 1 has got some serious elevation. While I am very much looking forward to the race, I even more excited about getting to drive this track. I'm sure track day prices are going to be outrageous.
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      08-06-2012, 03:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JC919 View Post
I took a slight detour yesterday on my way back to Houston to check out the track. Turn 1 has got some serious elevation. While I am very much looking forward to the race, I even more excited about getting to drive this track. I'm sure track day prices are going to be outrageous.
Can't wait for the first track day! Apparently they're still working out the details. I heard something about giving priority to PSL holders. Pricing will almost certainly be ridiculous.
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      08-06-2012, 04:24 PM   #6
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This PSL holder horseshit is really getting out of hand and I personally don't see it lasting all that long. If what you say happens to be the case, then I will simply give it a while.
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      08-07-2012, 03:02 AM   #7
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So cant wait for them to open up to public trackdays for motorcycles. This one will be intense.

When that day comes...there will be a very massive road trip for me coming from Cali in order to ride that thing. What a roller coaster.
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      08-07-2012, 10:33 AM   #8
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sweet! thanks for sharing.
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      08-08-2012, 10:27 PM   #9
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please get pictures up ASAP... cannot wait to see this track on TV.
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      08-08-2012, 11:34 PM   #10
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please get pictures up ASAP... cannot wait to see this track on TV.
+10000000000000000000000!!!!!!!!!!!!
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      08-08-2012, 11:56 PM   #11
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Yup, I'll have my camera back this weekend. Pictures soon.
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      08-09-2012, 11:29 AM   #12
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Just heard that the fee for track day organization to rent out the track is $50k. Hello $1,000 track days.
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      08-09-2012, 07:06 PM   #13
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Hope that's just "testing the waters" pricing...
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      08-10-2012, 10:32 AM   #14
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Will HRT be able to make it up the turn 1 hill?
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      08-10-2012, 11:16 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Hope that's just "testing the waters" pricing...
Judging by the fact that they want $15k to park your RV next to the track, I think its safe to say that this is their strategy.

COTA; otherwise known as Monaco in a cow pasture.
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      08-10-2012, 02:34 PM   #16
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Will HRT be able to make it up the turn 1 hill?
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      08-10-2012, 02:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Judging by the fact that they want $15k to park your RV next to the track, I think its safe to say that this is their strategy.

COTA; otherwise known as Monaco in a cow pasture.
I think they're seeing what the market will bear--that's definitely what they did with the PSLs. There's a reason why they've dropped PSL prices more than once by thousands each time.

Lol at Monaco. Funny that it actually is a cow pasture...between the airport and COTA, there are going to be a lot of deaf cows around.
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      08-10-2012, 03:52 PM   #18
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Nice Write up!

Now how did you get access to the track, if you don't mind me asking? Are they going to open it to the public as far allowing people track time? I live about 35 minutes north from there and I am very excited since I bought my tickets a month ago.
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      08-10-2012, 09:18 PM   #19
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I've been on the mailing list for COTA for quite some time and had a dialog going with some of the track's representatives. They invited me to tour the facility and take a lap of the track.

Caught the last tour before they closed the facility to visitors. They're entering the final stages of construction...don't know if they plan to open it back up for tours before race day.

They had just completed the asphalt on the start/finish straight and I was told that we were the first "civilians" to get a full lap in. I don't think we were even supposed to be there--the guide gave a look around first to see if the foreman was watching before allowing us to drive down it. We stopped at the pole grid slot (no paint yet of course) and fired up the Turn 1 hill...pretty flippin' sweet if I'm honest.

AFAIK there isn't public access to the track right now.
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      08-11-2012, 12:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koop View Post
I've been on the mailing list for COTA for quite some time and had a dialog going with some of the track's representatives. They invited me to tour the facility and take a lap of the track.

Caught the last tour before they closed the facility to visitors. They're entering the final stages of construction...don't know if they plan to open it back up for tours before race day.

They had just completed the asphalt on the start/finish straight and I was told that we were the first "civilians" to get a full lap in. I don't think we were even supposed to be there--the guide gave a look around first to see if the foreman was watching before allowing us to drive down it. We stopped at the pole grid slot (no paint yet of course) and fired up the Turn 1 hill...pretty flippin' sweet if I'm honest.

AFAIK there isn't public access to the track right now.
Sweet, Thanks for the reply!
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      08-12-2012, 02:58 AM   #21
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Okay, finally got my camera back!

Here are some shots of the COTA facility and the lap. I wasn't allowed to take a video, but I tried to snap as many pictures as possible along the way. Unfortunately all I had was a point-and-shoot, so quality isn't that great. I'll add captions when I have time.

As you can see, they're working feverishly to get everything completed by race weekend. It's quite impressive. Standing on top of the Turn 1 hill is pretty awe-inspiring. You can literally see the entire track from here, with downtown Austin in the background. The camera doesn't really capture the elevation...eye level at the apex of Turn 1 is higher than the roof of the main grandstand.







































































































































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      08-12-2012, 03:49 PM   #22
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thanx for all the pics
thought this would be all done up by now and waiting for its turn in the GP rotations.
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