Red Bull, the title sponsor of today's inaugural MotoGP race at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, shared these photos of the winners' trophies for the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas.
The trophies are rich in Texan workmanship and flair. The trophies were designed and built in the circuit's backyard, San Marcos and Austin, by Gordon Zepponi and Frank Zepponi of Deluxe Kreative and also produced and fabricated locally by Blackout Signs and Metalworks. The trophy base is made of mesquite wood, which is characteristically dense, hardy and known for its toughness. It's the same wood that gives world-famous Texas BBQ its smoky flavor. Niles Williamson, a local craftsman and woodworker, cut the rough-sawn blanks from the trees, kiln dried them and turned them on a wood lathe. The MotoGP logo was custom branded, heated to cherry red and applied to the bottom of the mesquite bases, charring the surface as it has been done for hundreds of years as a continuation of a long-standing Texas tradition.
Each trophy also features a custom rodeo-style belt buckle on the façade, which was bronze-cast and attached to a hand-tooled true Western-style belt. A limited number of these buckles were made - 15 to be exact - and then the original master buckle was destroyed. A replica Texas Ranger badge also adorns the trophy with an upside-down horseshoe at its crown. Jay Gordon and Shay Miller at Blackout Signs and Metalworks hand-scuplted the pieces and cast them in bronze using the “lost wax method” by Michael Hall at Studio Foundry in Driftwood, Texas, just outside of Austin. Finally, to achieve a rusty and authentic shiny finish, the rough castings were painstakingly hand polished by the Blackout crew and assembled into the final piece presented today.
This reminds us of the custom-made Pirelli cowboy hats that the Formula 1 podium finishers were crowned with at the Inaugural United States Grand Prix here last November. A great way to tie in a bit of Texas history while supporting local business!