Circuit of the Americas

Formula 1
8:44 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Want to Run on the Circuit of the Americas Track?

The tennis shoe rubber could meet the road of the Circuit of the Americas track.
Circuit of the Americas

Travis County Commissioners are holding a public hearing this morning over granting a mass gathering permit to the Circuit of Americas and RunTex for a race at the track. But it wouldn’t be a Formula 1 race, or even a race involving vehicles.

RunTex wants to put on a 5k that would allow participants to run on the Circuit of the Americas track. The track course is 3.4-miles long, slightly longer than a 5k.

The event, planned for Saturday, Nov. 3, would also serve as a sort of open house and would allow attendees explore part of the COTA facility.

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Formula 1
8:31 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Fire Chief Wants His District to Keep Some F1 Sales Tax Revenue

The red buildings represent ESD #11 fire stations. The green buildings represent Austin Fire Department stations.
Travis County ESD #11

The fire chief who leads the emergency service district around the Circuit of the Americas track is going before the Travis County Commissioners today to ask them to consider a tax deal if the track area is annexed by the City of Austin.

Fire Chief Ken Bailey leads Emergency Service District #11. Emergency service districts are entities created by the state to provide services to unincorporated areas, like the land around the Circuit of the Americas track. Bailey wants the city to keep the district in place, and let the district keep some of the sales tax revenue generated by the track to hire staff to respond to potentially increased calls.

Bailey says, right now, if the City of Austin annexes the track, the city would benefit from a 0.5 percent sale tax along with property tax revenue. Instead, Bailey is proposing that ESD #11 pay the city one-third of the district's 1.5 percent sales tax: equal, he says, for the city either way.

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Formula 1
7:46 am
Wed September 26, 2012

F1 Officials Declare Austin Track Ready to Race

Inspectors from Formula 1's governing body take a look at the Circuit of the Americas track.
Circuit of the Americas

After a visit from Formula 1 officials yesterday, Austin’s Circuit of the Americas (COTA) is right on track to host the United States Grand Prix in November, according to a press release from COTA. 

Charles Whiting, the director of racing, safety and technical matters for the Fédération Internationale de l’ Automobile (FIA), the international body that oversees F1 racing, declared Austin’s track “ready to race.”  His approval is necessary for an F1 circuit to conduct Grand Prix races.

The track was awarded a Grade 1 designation, the highest distinction that can be given to a motorsports venue.  Whiting declared that the circuit was “built to the highest quality” and that he had “no complaints whatsoever.”

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Formula 1
5:21 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Video: German Designers Show Off Austin's F1 Racetrack

Two months before the checkered flag at Austin's Formula 1 United States Grand Prix gets waved for the first time, KUT News got an exclusive look at the track.

Our guides: two German engineers, whose company Tilke has had a hand in building half of all current Formula 1 racetracks around the world.

This video was produced for KUT News by Axel Gerdau, and shot by Daniel Deloach and Gerdau. 

Austin
12:54 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Traffic Jam at Auditorium Shores Over F1 Weekend?

The 2011 "Christmas Affair" drew thousands of shoppers to the Palmer Events Center.
The Junior League of Austin

The Austin City Council has delayed a vote on approving a concert put on by the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) during the Formula One race weekend.

The concert would need special approval because Auditorium Shores is already booked for the maximum number of event days for the year.

But that’s not the only conflict. The concert would be the same weekend as, and just across the street from, the Junior League of Austin’s “A Christmas Affair.”

The decades-old shopping event is the Junior League’s biggest fundraiser and planning for it starts two years in advance. Parking is already limited for the 30,000 or so anticipated attendees, and the Junior League believes adding another large event in the same area would be overwhelming.

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Formula One
2:48 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Circuit of the Americas Looking for Lots of Part-Time Help

The view from the grandstand at the under-construction Circuit of the Americas track.
Circuit of the Americas

Autoweek points to an announcement from Circuit of the Americas, host of Austin’s inaugural Formula One U.S. Grand Prix this November: the COTA team is looking to hire up to 700 part-time positions to help out over race weekend. 

Applicants must register and then be vetted by a third-party firm; once hired they must work the entire event, November 16 to November 18. “You will be paid for the entire event on Friday, Nov. 30, the week after the Thanksgiving holiday,” the release states, adding that “Jobs at COTA … are part-time, so we encourage all applicants to work these events around their other employment.”

The track managers aren’t the only ones at work: late last week, city and county responders held an open house detailing plans to address an influx of F1 visitors.

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Austin
8:54 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Top Morning Stories 2/17/12: Fracking and Groundwater, $90 Million More for F1 Track

An image from the UT Energy Institute's report on fracking.
Image courtesy Chesapeake Energy

UT Study Says Fracking Doesn’t Directly Contaminate Groundwater

A new report by the University of Texas at Austin released this week says there’s no direct link between groundwater contamination and hydraulic fracturing – a controversial method of extracting natural gas and oil from shale formations.

The research was done by UT's Energy Institute. The report’s authors say contamination is often the result of above ground spills or mishandling of wasterwater, but not caused directly by fracking. 

Fracking involves blasting water, mixed with sand and chemicals, underground to fracture rock and improve the flow of natural gas and oil. The practice is used at the North Texas Barnett Shale.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency is also studying the environmental effects fracking may have on groundwater. Its preliminary results differ from the UT study.

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Formula One
1:34 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Formula One: Up to $5K to Reserve a Seat (Ticket Not Included)

A rendering depicting the 9,000 seat main grandstand at the Circuit of the Americas track.
Image courtesy circuitoftheamericas.com

Local Formula One track promoters announced ticket details for their inaugural F1 race and other events: $1,000 to $5,000 for a spot on their “Select Seat Wait List.” That’s right: Upwards of $5,000, just for the right to purchase tickets for future events.

Granted, the “personal seat licenses” the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) racetrack is selling are for the best ones in the house: a perch in the 9,000 seat, 26 row main grandstand. Licenses are also available for seats along three of the course’s main turns, including Turn 1, which “sits atop a dramatic 133 ft. elevation and features the clearest sightlines for the track’s signature turn,” COTA promoters write.  Along with being eligible to purchase tickets for every F1 event at the track, license holders will also receive a “priority position” for purchasing tickets for other race and entertainment events there.

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