Grand Prix of Europe Watch Party to be Viewed LIVE!

Once again, this Sunday, June 24, 2012, we will be watching Formula 1 racing LIVE!

2012 Formula 1 Grand Prix of EuropeThis coming Sunday we will be hosting the LIVE broadcast viewing of the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe at an earlier time11:00AM!  We will be at our favored race viewing location, the Lion & Rose Pub, Alamo Heights, in the focused non-smoking room they call the Dungeon.

Lion & Rose Britsh Pub - Union Jack logo

The race circuit is street-based, in Valencia, Spain.  There are 25 turns (!) to challenge the drivers.  Although this circuit is based on city streets, it is at least 14 meters wide, with safe, up to spec run-off areas.  It should offer a grand variety of racing challenges to all the drivers!

2012 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe - Street Circuit in Valencia, SpainSo, will we be witness to a never before seen 8th different winner of this season at this race?  Only time will tell.  This has made for an exciting Formula 1 race season thus far this year!

2012 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe - Street Circuit overview of Valencia, Spain

Again, the LIVE Formula 1 race broadcast has the start of the race scheduled at 11:00AM!  If the last race watch party attendance of the Montreal GP LIVE broadcast is any indication, I would strongly suggest you arrive early.  I know I plan to be there earlier to set up & make sure all is ready before the race start!

See you thenRACE ON!


Formula Expo Experience – Good F1 Immersion for Austin

Formula Expo took place in Austin, TX this past weekend.  It was a good gathering of some of the sights & information all about Formula 1.  It’s intent to was to help introduce the world of Formula 1 to Austinites & others of us in the region.

Formula Expo - June 16-17, 2012

I attended midday on Saturday.  Overall a saw a LOT of young families.  That is good for the sport.  There were others of us that are dyed in the wool fans of F1.  On display were a variety of automotive vendors, both high end retail (Lotus, Ferrari, etc.), exotic car rentals & experiences, as well as motorsports shops & racing  education schools.  Many F1 driving simulators that had consistent lines of waiting fans were available.  In addition, & what I most appreciated, were the historic Formula 1 cars on display, circa 1978-80.  You can see how Formula 1 race car technology has significantly evolved!

Vintage F1 car at Formula Expo - Andretti

Vintage F1 car at Formula Expo - Prost

Vintage F1 car at Formula Expo - Rothmans/Newsweek

Vintage F1 car at Formula Expo - Villeneuve

Next was a Formula 1 visual history wall.  The brothers from Sutton Images had assembled a brief, but very comprehensive display of Formula 1 history, from pictures they had taken over the years.  The pictures were well taken & some of them elicited some strong emotions of awe, excitement, wonder & sadness, especially from seeing fallen heroes of Formula 1’s rich past.

Sutton Images F1 History Wall at Formula Expo

Here’s an image that you will want to refer back to when RUSH, the F1 racing movie comes out in the Spring of 2013.  This is the story that Ron Howard is directing & is currently editing about the competitive F1 rivalry, in 1976, between Niki Lauda & James Hunt.  Howard has been taking much care to keep the visuals & the racing recreations in the film to be as accurate as possible.  I know this will be a film I will be adding to my collection next year!

Niki Lauda & James Hunt, from June 1977 - by Sutton Images.JPG

The folks from Circuit of The Americas gave a nice turn-by-turn review of the track.  In addition, they gave some good overviews of racing spectator sight lines from the future grassy knolls & as yet to be built grandstands around the track.

Circuit of The Americas, view from atop turn 1 looking down the front straight to the Grandstands and the Pits!

Toward the end of my visit, I was interviewed by Jon Massengale & Les Kiser of, in conjunction with Austin’s ESPN radio affiliate 104.9FM – The Horn.  I was talking with Jon about how San Antonio is slowly awakening to the realization of the Formula 1 experience actually coming to fruition in Austin.  I explained my contribution of the SAF1C Race Watch Parties that we’ve started in San Antonio this F1 season.  Also, I explained I want to find out what more the San Antonio business community will be doing about participating in the Formula 1 event.  I hope to find that short interview & post it here later.

Speed City Broadcast at 2012 Formula Expo.JPG

On my way home, I stopped by Harris Hill Raceway, by Mazda & visited with Philipp Huebner, H2R Site Manager.  He explained that San Marcos hotel bookings for the November 2012 Formula 1 weekend are getting filled up fast.  Also, the folks at the San Marcos Municipal Airport are seeing many reservations being placed for helicopter shuttle rides between there & CoTA.  Makes sense to me.

Helicopter Tours of Texas

I was able to speak to many people who have been longtime faithful believers in Formula 1 coming to South/Central Texas.  They note that the response & numbers of people becoming interested has started to exponentially increase within the last month.  I was told that as recently as a month ago, non-F1 fans in Austin who had heard about Formula 1 & CoTA being built still didn’t think it was moving forward.  Well, that sentiment has changed.  Having Formula Expo as the catalyst will give a great uptick & interest.  Local & international ticket sales have met & exceeded expectations.

CoTA additional race bleacher seating available!

Still, many in Austin have NO idea what the Formula 1 “machine” will bring to the Austin & South.Central Texas business & motorsports community.  I say it will be all good – BRING THE RACE ON !


Special TravelZoo 1/2 Price Ticket Offer for Formula Expo

Yesterday, I was perusing a friend’s LinkedIn account.  He had found a 1/2 price offer for Formula Expo tickets – $7.50 instead of $15.00!  This is available from TravelZoo, here!

TravelZoo logo

This is a situation where I’m glad I waited till the last minute.  If you decide to take advantage of this offer you will receive a voucher somewhat like mine.

Formula Expo half-price voucher (made generic)...

Hopefully you can make the Formula Expo this weekend!  See you then…

Formula Expo - June 16-17, 2012



Canada GP Entertains with 7th Different Winner, Hamilton

Today’s Formula 1 Grand Prix of Canada was another pleasing finish.  Lewis Hamilton finally won his first GP this season.  This makes this year’s F1 series 7 for 7 – seven different winners at each of this year’s Grands Prix for 2012.

Lewis Hamilton wins & celebrates his 2012 Canadian GP victory! - Courtesy of

As for our 7th SAF1C Race Watch Party, we had an almost capacity crowd for the “Dungeon” at the Alamo location of the Lion & Rose Pub.  There were at least 17 people in attendance; some repeat fans & some new faces.

Lion & Rose Pub SAF1C Watch Party, Canada GP - in the 'Dungeon' - Pan2

It was good to hear that Google works.  One fan was in town for a business trip & he found us out by querying, “Where to watch Formula 1 race in San Antonio?” & found us on page 1 of Google – awesome!

SAF1C Info & sign-up table at 2012 Canada GP Race Watch Party

I announced the news that everyone’s been asking me about: “What do you know about, when & how much will tickets be for the Formula 1 Austin USGP…?  All your answers, the ability to buy your tickets, & more, are answered at

Select your seating for the 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX™

I re-announced next weekend’s highly anticipated Formula Expo event.  This will be this coming Saturday/Sunday (June 16-17, 2012).  This will take place in downtown Austin, TX, at the Convention Center.  Details & tickets at the link above!

Formula Expo 2012

SAF1C plans to proactively discuss the variety of F1 Austin USGP race watching options.  There are other unknowns we will be asking the race promoters.  Questions like:

  • What will be allowed to be brought on the CoTA property for General Admission pass holders?
  • What other possible access will be available besides the grassy knolls & grandstand seating?
  • Will there be any sort of pre-race fan activity on Thursday night?
  • What type of social events are planned around town that weekend?
  • What are the specific details of shuttle routes?
  • What roads will be closed and/or have limited access?
  • What about pricing & availability of RV spots?

Do  you have any other questions you’d like asked?  Make a comment below!

We do know, tentatively, that we (San Antonio & Austin F1 race fans clubs) would like to sit together as a group on Sunday, November 18th, 2012.  I know some F1 fan friends have purchased grandstand seats & others (like me) have opted for the grassy knoll, General Admission Pass, route.  We plan to informally meet at the Formula Expo event.

 CoTA signage - announcing the Circuit of The Americas race site - Home of the Austin F1 USGP!

We have another 2 weeks before the next GP comes to us from across the pond – from Valencia, Spain.  Once again, we will be hosting our SAF1C Race Watch Party at the Lion & Rose Pub (Alamo Heights location).  This will be on Sunday, June 24th at 1:30pm – the Grand Prix of Europe.

2012 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe - Art Poster

Now that I my GA pass is locked in, my mind has been racing about all sorts of pre-planning “what if’s”.  I’m sure Formula Expo will provide many answers.  Then again, it may also spur additional questions.  We shall see.  All I can say, GO RACE !


Canadian Grand Prix Race Party To Broadcast LIVE Earlier

I had previously incorrectly published this coming Sunday’s Grand Prix du Canada start times!

Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada 2012NOTE: This Sunday, June 10th, 2012, the Canadian Grand Prix will be shown via LIVE broadcast, starting at 1:00PM We will be at the Lion & Rose Pub, Alamo Heights location, this coming Sunday, June 10, 2012.  The pre-race broadcast starts at 12:30pm, with the actual race starting at 1:00pm.

Join Us for the 2012 Canadian Grand Prix

The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is on Île Notre-Dame, a man-made island formed from excavation material from Metro construction for the city of Montréal, Québec, Canada.  The race circuit is known to be fast track when dry & challenging when wet.  We shall see what kind of weather the track will be hosting this year.  I mention this as there was a 2+ hour rain delay last year.  I recall it was worth the wait to watch the exciting finish!

Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada 2012 - Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

SO, please note the at least 1/2 hour earlier start time for the race.  Again, it will be broadcast LIVE, starting at 1:00PM, this coming Sunday.  I look forward to seeing you all there!

Circuit Gilles Villeneuve - bird's eye view...



CoTA Announces Austin F1 USGP 3-Day Ticket Purchasing!

SELECT YOUR SEATING FOR THE 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX™This is the topic everyone’s been asking me – when will the tickets for the Austin F1 race event be sold & for how much?  So, if you’re not signed up on Circuit of The Americas‘ (CoTA) mailing list, here’s the focused press release that came out this afternoon:

Media Contact:  Julie Loignon
Office:  512.536.1457

Circuit of The Americas announces on-sale date and pricing for 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX™ reserved grandstand bleacher seats and general admission tickets.
Three-day tickets to prestigious international event start at $159 and include round-trip shuttle service

Austin, Texas (June 5, 2012)– Circuit of The Americas today announced the date when members of the public can purchase three-day reserved grandstand bleacher seats and general admission tickets to the FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX™, set for Nov. 16-18, 2012. The soon-to-be-completed center for premium sports and entertainment in Austin, Texas, will host the return of the world-famous Formula 1™ racing series to the United States for the first time in five years. Three-day reserved grandstand bleacher seats and general admission tickets to the highly anticipated event go on sale Sunday, June 10, at 10 a.m. EDT, at

Three-day general admission tickets are priced at an affordable $159 per person and allow fans to choose their views of the action from several grassy berms and spacious public areas surrounding the 375-acre state-of-the-art facility designed by Tilke GmbH, the famed German architectural company known for its work on signature F1™ circuits. Three-day reserved grandstand bleacher seats range in price from $269 to $499 per person and offer guests spectacular views from vantage points around the 3.4-mile racetrack, including Turns 2, 3, 4, 5, 11 and 12.

Prices for reserved grandstand bleacher seats depend on location and are detailed in the table that follows (see supplemental table with comparable 2012 Grand Prix grandstand reserved seating pricing on page 3). All three-day reserved grandstand bleacher seats and general admission tickets include round-trip shuttle bus transportation from three designated park-and-ride locations in the greater Austin area. Shuttle bus pick-up/drop-off locations include the corner of 15th Street and Trinity Street in downtown Austin, the Travis County Fair and Expo Center at 7311 Decker Lane, and at a location in southeast Travis County that will be announced this summer.

Seating Area Three-Day Ticket Price  Per Person
General Admission $159
Grandstand – Turn 11 $269
Grandstand – Turns 2, 3, 4 and 5 $299
Grandstand – Turn 12 (lower rows) $399
Grandstand – Turn 12 (upper rows) $499

“Formula 1™ fans and motorsports enthusiasts around the world have eagerly anticipated this news, and we’re excited to launch public ticket sales for our inaugural event in the next few days,” Circuit Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer Geoff Moore said. “We have options to fit every pocketbook.

“Information provided by the public was crucial as we finalized prices for the 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX™. We received fan input from extensive customer surveys and through market research from other Grands Prix and comparable premier, international, multi-day sporting events. In the final analysis, we wanted to make this event affordable to F1 fans around the country. Whether they want a reserved seat or the freedom to explore our expansive facility with a general admission ticket, they will enjoy great views and amenities.”

FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX™ tickets go on sale Sunday, June 10, 2012, at 10 a.m. EDT. To select and purchase tickets, fans should visit, (use the search terms “Circuit of The Americas” or “Formula 1 United States Grand Prix”), or dial the Ticketmaster hotline, 800.745.3000, to review available options.

Customers interested in premium seating options, such as personal seat licenses with season tickets and on-site parking, can submit information through the “Tickets” section of Circuit’s official website and will be contacted by a sales representative for more information. Circuit of The Americas sales representatives are available Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. CDT at 512.301.6600.

Additional information about Grand Prix transportation and travel packages, facility hours of operation, special events and entertainment, and items permitted inside Circuit of The Americas during the FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX™ will be announced in the coming weeks.

For those of you who will be attending the next San Antonio F1 Club race watch party, we can share this good news at the Lion & Rose Pub, Alamo Heights location, this coming Sunday, June 10, 2012.  We will be watching the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal LIVE!  Pre-race starts at 1:00pm, with the actual race start happening at 1:30pm.  So, buy your tickets, don’t be late, and be early this time!



2012 Monaco GP Racing Action: Excitingly Strategic

This past Sunday’s viewing of the Monaco Grand Prix, which took place at the Lion & Rose Pub (Alamo Heights, San Antonio, TX location) was a satisfying 2 hours of always-on, high speed action.  It wore me out, all the constant, never relenting tight racing on the Monte Carlo street circuit.  I can only imagine how the drivers felt.

Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber led from the start at the the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix. Picture by AFP PHOTO - TOM GANDOLFINI

As Steve Matchett , one of the Formula 1, play-by-play SPEED commentators stated, you had to drive an “inch-perfect” race (referring to the tightness of the circuit & how consistent the driver must be in maneuvering about it).

SAF1C fans enjoying the "inch-perfect" Monaco GP racing action, at the Lion & Rose Pub.As holds true for this F1 racing season, we have another unique 2012 season winner – Mark Webber, of the Red Bull Team.  That makes for 6 different winners in six races!  Red Bull is the only team, so far this year, that has more that one race victory.  That was by defending F1 Champion Sebastian Vettel who won the Bahrain GP earlier this year.  Mark won it from pole , avoiding fellow race cars & the contact with the Armco barriers to win.  Ironically, Michael Schumacher won the pole position, but he was penalized 5 grid positions due to his at-fault accident with Bruno Senna at the Barcelona GP, two weeks ago.

Mark Webber, 2012 Monaco GP race winner, celebrates in the tradition of the Red Bull Enrgy Station - Courtesy of Getty Images

We had a number of new visitors, today, at the SAF1C (San Antonio F1 Club) race watch party.  We were able to enjoy 2 solid hours of Monaco GP race playback in crystal clear HD.  We were in the Lion & Rose non-smoking room, ‘affectionately’ known as the Dungeon.  It’s nice & much more comfortable than any dungeon I have read about.

Entrance to the Lion & Rose Pub "Dungeon" - the SAF1C non-smoking race watch party room!The "Dungeon" smoke-free race watch party room at the Lion & Rose!

Today’s trivia question was concerning the Pirelli tires (or tyres, in F1-speak):

Question:  For this Monaco GP race Pirelli has chosen the yellow stripe (Soft) & red stripe (Super Soft) tires for both qualifying the race.  What is the advantage of the reds on this unique Monte-Carlo street circuit?

What is the disadvantage?

Bryant &  his Mom, Jolene, both figured it has to do with better grip on the non-race optimized street racing surface, but the disadvantage would be fewer laps on the red stripes.  They were the happy winners, of GPIF (Grand Prix Investors Fund) T-shirts, as seen here.

Jolene & Bryant, happy to win their GPIF T-shirt door prizes...

In 2 weeks we will be able to watch a Formula 1 race LIVE.  This will be the Canadian GP in Montreal.  Once again, we will be hosting the race watch party at the Lion & Rose Pub in Alamo Heights.  There will be a slight difference – the time – maybe.  Since this will be live, we will need to show up at 1:00PM, with the actual race starting at about 1:30pm, I think…  I will confirm the start time, in less than 2 weeks, here.

Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada 2012We shall see you then!