Circuit officials are meeting with Bernie Ecclestone this week in London to discuss progress at the facility. According to Jonathan Noble of Autosport, several members of the executive team including President Steve Sexton, Executive VP Bruce Knox, Director of Racing Operations Chuck Aksland, and Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Geoff Moore.
Geoff Moore was quoted by Noble:
"The race is on. Construction is happening six days a week. The paddock buildings are being topped off, work on the main grandstand has started and we are looking at mid-August for completion."
Details about other discussions with Ecclestone have not been released, though the most promising news in this story is the mid-August target completion date.
The mid-August date gives a three month buffer before the scheduled Nov 18 USGP and an opportunity to hold other events at the circuit. In presentations from COTA, they have spoken about programming at the circuit to include bike or foot races, smaller racing series, large scale conferences and live entertainment. Details about such events have been relatively vague since the April 2011 press conference but are more likely to emerge over the coming months with this new target date. Without a doubt, there will be the need to hold an event of some kind before the first Formula 1 race. I don't think anyone would expect the F1 race to be the first thing held at COTA so we'll have to wait to see what this event will be.
Mid-August is roughly 7 months from today, and though that might seem unattainable, with a 6-day crew going two or three shifts, it is possible. Over the past month, the paddock building has completely transformed from a foundation into a three story building and the main grandstand foundation is going in as we speak. Let's hope, for construction's sake, for another dry spring and summer.