Austin USGP Race on 2012 F1 Schedule Confirmed!

The Race Is On! - Circuit of The Americas' announcement on December 7, 2011

We’ve been on pins & needles about the possibility of this being a non-event for over the past 2 weeks.  We are SO relieved as is all of Formula 1 fandom, especially those of us geographically located in South/Central Texas.  Here’s the official press release direct from Circuit of The Americas (COTA):

December 7, 2011

Formula 1 (TM) and Circuit of The Americas (TM) Ready to Roll
10-Year Race Contract Brings F1 Back to the U.S. in 2012;
Construction to Resume Immediately

AUSTIN, Texas – December 7, 2011 – Circuit of The Americas announced today that they have reached an agreement with Formula One Management that ensures the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix remains on the FIA Formula 1 World Championship race calendar.  Red McCombs, chairman of McCombs Enterprises and founding partner of Circuit of  The Americas stated, “Mr. Ecclestone received his check today. We want to thank the fans supporting us, the local officials and businesses that have encouraged us, the State of Texas, Circuit of The Americas’ staff and Bernie himself.  I want to thank and commend Bobby Epstein for getting us across the finish line.  Bobby’s perseverance and leadership kept the project on track despite unfair and unfounded criticism.”

“Our investors have believed all along that this project has tremendous benefit for our region, and provides a strong economic engine for the future,” stated Epstein, founding partner of Circuit of The Americas.  We remain committed to reaching our goal of being valuable community partners as we establish a platform for sports and entertainment. We’re glad that Tavo’s vision of bringing F1 to the people of Texas will become a reality.”

Engineering and construction teams working on the track will resume immediately, ensuring completion for the 2012 race date.

“We have a substantial number of fans who have expressed interest in buying tickets and hospitality, so today is a win for all of them as much as it is for Circuit of The Americas,” said Steve Sexton, president of Circuit of The Americas. “We encourage everyone to visit our website and register for information. Registered fans will receive the first communication regarding ticket sales plans.  In a matter of weeks we will have more exciting news as we unveil our full calendar of world class events.”

Fans interested in receiving information about tickets for next year’s United States Grand Prix can register their contact information at Ticket sales information will be communicated to those registered prior to general public notification.

Media Inquiries:

Jeff Hahn
Representing Circuit of The Americas
Office: 512-344-2017

Ali Putnam
Circuit of The Americas
Office: 512-301-6600

Circuit of The Americas racing surface foundation preparation...circa November 2011

Influential local people who strongly & enthusiastically support the important arrival of the Austin Formula 1 USGP are highlighted on a good YNN video.  Those folks are Wyman Gilliam, of Wild Bubba’s Wild Game Grill fame, as well as the brother-sister team of, Kevin & Kerri Olsen.  Click of the recent video link below about the news from Elroy:

Austin F1 race still on track for 2012 - YNN video

Bernie Ecclestone’s take on all that had recently transpired to get to this final point of event success was curious & low key…

Yes there will be a race there.  We hope it will be for 10 years.

I’m guessing we won’t know all the sordid details of what transpired in the hush-hush background.  COTA officials, of course, declined to reveal financial terms of the deal.  Per Steven Cole Smith of AutoWeek:

The details regarding the contract Epstein and McCombs apparently signed have not been made public but it seems likely that they were less favorable than the original contract Hellmund had.

Hellmund’s company, Full Throttle Productions, also negotiated contracts for MotoGP and Australian V8 Supercars to race at the circuit in 2013; the status of those two series at the circuit remains unclear.

So, at long last, here’s the planned for 2012 Formula 1 race schedule:

2012 Formula 1 Calendar

March 18                 Australian GP
March 25                 Malaysian GP
April 15                    Chinese GP
April 22                    Bahrain GP
May 13                      Spanish GP
May 27                     Monaco GP
June 10                    Canada GP
June 24                    European GP
July 8                       British GP
July 22                    German GP
July 29                    Hungarian GP
September 2           Belgian GP
September 9           Italian GP
September 23        Singapore GP
October 7                Japanese GP
October 14              Korean GP
October 28              Indian GP
November 4           Abu Dhabi GP
November 18       U.S. GP (Austin)
November 25         Brazilian GP

Here’s a link (& video) to get your mind moving to book a tour to the race with:  Grand Prix Tours | United States Grand Prix Tours Packages Hotels and Tickets

Grand Prix Tours logoOkay…
Now we can get back to waiting & watching the progress of “our” world-class racing track & its associated facility.  Like all of you, the SanAntonioF1Club can’t wait!

Is This COTA’s Last Chance For Formula 1 Austin USGP?

Like you, I’m concerned & given in to ultimately accept that there will be no Formula 1 circus showing up in Austin in less than 1 year from now.  I will have to admit this makes me sad.

A pensive Formula 1 honcho, Bernie Ecclestone...

But then, I was appreciably surprised by Bernie Ecclestone’s announcement today.  He is giving Circuit of The Americas (COTA) an additional 1 week deadline extension, to sign & pay for the Austin USGP 10 year contract.  Bernie, who is the Formula 1 commercial rights manager, summed it up with this short phrase:

They need to get some money and a pen as soon as possible.  They know full well.

(& also…)

They are trying to do it.  It would be a loss to everyone (if it didn’t happen).

I’m not sure I’ve seen this “humble” display from Bernie, actually changing his mind with this extension.  It seems unlike his his normal modus operandi.  Once again, we will have to run another roller-coaster week of emotions, hoping not to be disappointed by next week’s December 7th meeting of the the World Motor Sport Council.

San Antonio F1 Club would REALLY like some closure on all of this, as I’m sure would you!

Sigh, more patience…

Wild Bubba’s Meet, Greet & Eat! – “One Year Before the Race”

Saturday, November 19th, 2011Reserve the Date!

Wild Bubba's Meet, Greet and Eat - 'One Year Before The Race'

This past summer, Wild Bubba of Wild Bubba’s Wild Game Grill, kicked off the first Wild Bubba’s Meet, Greet & Eat.  It was a quality get-together of Formula 1 race fans & an interesting variety of people involved in the Austin area racing community.  Now that the Circuit of The Americas (COTA) track facility has been making steady progress, & we have a cooler race date on November 2012, the momentum is growing!

Wild Bubba's Wild Game Grill - Meet, Greet and Eat - 'One Year Before The Race'

Here are the specific details about this event:

All Racing Fan’s…
This is the one event you don’t want to miss! Racing fan’s from all over will be meeting and greeting while dining on delicious Burgers from Wild Bubba’s Wild Game Grill.  Shiner Beer will be available as well as soda and water.
The event will feature:
– 2 F1 racing simulators for your racing pleasure
– A fashion expo from Congruent Style
– Booths from various social media organizations
– Door prizes including a Grand Prize to be drawn
– Live Music featuring “The Volente Beach Boys”
– Cash Burger and Beer Bar.
Come out to the Hitchin’ Post, which features a huge outdoor deck with plenty of room to mingle and talk F1.  You never know who might show up.

The Hitchin' Post

Don’t make the mistake I did last summer.  This event will not be at the actual Wild Bubba’s Wild Game Grill location in Elroy, TX.  The Hitchin’ Post is about 3 miles north of the Austin Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA), off of Tollway 130 at 12100 FM 969, Austin, Texas.  Here’s a map – click to enlarge…

Hitchin' Post map

San Antonio F1 Club will be there.  If you are at all interested in the Austin F1 USGP, this countdown kickoff party will BE the place to be!  You want to, you need to show!!!

Remember, Saturday, November 19th, 2011 – Reserve the Date!

Airtel Grand Prix of India – New F1 Venue in Emerging Market

2011 Formula 1 Airtel Indian Grand Prix

This Sunday came through as a new chapter in the growing success & popularity of the F1 machine!  This was the debut of the new India Grand Prix at the newly purpose-built Buddh International Circuit track near New Delhi, India.

2011 Formula 1 Airtel Indian Grand Prix circuit map

Race winner Sebastian Vettel continued to impress with his blistering pace from the start.  No one else seemed to have a chance.  This driver portends to have a great F1 career ahead of him.  Team Red Bull continues to dominate, as well.

Sebastian Vettel savors his 11th victory of the 2011 Formula 1 season, at the inaugural Indian Grand Prix!All the Formula 1 drivers & teams universally praised this recently completed 3.4 mile track.  Here’s another well done Red Bull track explanation & drive through simulation.

With 2 F1 races to go this year, most everyone is already starting to consider what it will take to beat Vettel & Red Bull for the next racing season.  We in South/Central Texas are VERY excited to have the Formula 1 machine come to our backyard next year, just up the road, less tan 90 miles, south of Austin!

Top Formula 1 Teams Anticipate 2011 Korean GP

The 2011 Korean Grand Prix running this coming weekend is in its second year.  See the track details & specifics below.

2011 Korean Grand Prix track map & specific details...One of the highlights of this track is the longest straight of the entire Formula 1 season – it’s 1200 meters/3937 feet long – almost .75 mile!  Wouldn’t you think this would be a prime track section to implement DRS (Drag Reduction System)?  For more about this & other advanced Formula 1 racing technology, review this very well put together video about DRS & KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System).

2011 Korean Grand Prix DRS ZoneRed Bull Racing has put together a well done racing introduction video to this relatively new Korean combined city & race track course.  The numbers are: 5.6 km per lap, it’s 55 laps, & a race length of 309 kilometers.

Here’s a different perspective, from the McLaren Formula One Team drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton:

F1 McLaren Team Discusses 2011 Korean Grand Prix

This is more of a Q & A interview format, kind of low key in my opinion.  But they sure don’t sound as upbeat or give the purely positive impression that the Red Bull Team exudes.  That also bears out in their not always being at the top of the Formula 1 racing podia – an interesting correlation.

Enjoy the race this Sunday, wherever you may be.  The Formula 1 race fans in Austin, Texas will be watching at Six Lounge.  Once again, this is one of the main initiatives of the San Antonio F1 Club, to come together as Formula 1 fans enjoying world class racing in a fun, social environment.

Sharing these experiences as a group is always more fulfilling!

SAF1C QR Code – Quick & Easy Promotion

Here’s a quick & convenient way to share access to the information at this site.  Use this QR Code to have others easily scan & access this information.

SAF1C QR Code for San AntonioF1 Club

In addition, I put together this quickie mini-poster to help with the SAF1C club’s promotion.

SAF1C QR Promotion PosterSave one of these images to your Smartphone/iPhone, as well as to your PC/Mac!

Thanks & continue to spread the word.  I hope these tools will help you…

Singapore GP Race Viewing Party Debuts Well

Yesterday I motored up to Austin, TX (90 miles one way) to participate in Austin’s newest Formula 1 race watching party.  It took place at one of downtown Austin’s newer drinking establishments, Six Lounge, at the corner of 4th & Colorado.

Six Lounge, Downtown Austin, TXEntering Six before 1:30pm, it took a few minutes to accustom to the bar darkness.  As I found my way around, I was able to greet fellow F1 fans I hadn’t seen in awhile.  It was good to reestablish these friendly alliances.

The bar & balcony at Six Lounge, Downtown Austin, TXThe booths & big screen at Six Louge, Downtown Austin, TXThe big screen view from the balcony at Six Lounge, Downtown Austin, TXOf special note, I got to formally meet the folks of The Austin Grand Prix, “The New Media Source for Racing Fans and Austin”.  They are  Kevin & Kerri Olsen, a dynamic brother/sister duo really helping to bring late breaking news of all things related to Formula 1 & other racing in Austin.

F1 Fan Friends: Robert DeGroff, Kerri & Kevin Olsen & Racing Ready DanAlso, Robert DeGroff, of was there, helping to move the Austin F1 Club to the next evolutionary step as San Antonio F1 Club’s “sister” club.  Robert had also set up one of his racing simulators.  Fans were able to drive/compete on iRace, racing others via the Internet. Racing SimulatorSo, take all this in, new San Antonio F1 Club members.  This event is something we are working toward enjoying, right here in our backyard!  Keep looking for venues & let me know at: