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Austin F1 Watch Parties

Great Race, Great Friends, Great Watch Party

// Downtown Watch Party

Our eleventh watch party in downtown Austin was hosted by Lavaca Street Bar for the Chinese Grand Prix. As with all of our events, there's always a very strong mix of new visitors, averaging around thirty percent over our events this past year. Sunday's event was an exception, with nearly fifty percent of the 75+ attendance visiting the downtown watch party for the first time ever. 

This great balance of old and new fans is making a great conversational environment, allowing those of all knowledge levels to participate and feel welcome. Our more seasoned fans helped to welcome newcomers to the sport by offering advice and sharing their experiences with each other. Most conversations in the room, if not about the exciting race itself, usually focus on individuals sharing their first race experience or excitement for the future GP in Austin.

With a great crowd in attendance, the energy was right for the stunningly entertaining Chinese GP. We all helped congratulate Mercedes GP driver Nico Rosberg on his first win in the sport and Mercedes' first win in 57 years as a factory team. The race had all of the elements to make for great viewing, so good company to watch with on a Sunday afternoon make it all the more enjoyable.  

// Lavaca Street Bar

Our guests raved about the Chinese-themed food provided - fresh egg rolls, savory pots tickers, teriyaki flavored wings, ribs that rival the best local BBQ joints and a fresh noodle & veggie mix. It's no surprise everyone enjoyed the food; Lavaca Street's menu is being redeveloped by Casey Fannin, an amazing chef and close friend of Tyson Cole of Uchi and Uchiko restaurants. If you didn't know before enjoying the fare, it was evident after as the food was delicious!

At the end of the race we raffled off a copy of the SENNA movie DVD and a movie poster to continue to spread the word about this amazing film.  If you haven't seen it, check out the trailer here and rent it on Netflix or buy a copy here. Congratulations to Kärt Klein; enjoy the movie - again! (She has seen it before and is a big fan!)

A very special thanks goes out to DNA Events for their production expertise and support to help make this event possible.  In addition, a special thanks to Premiere Party Central for their donations of the chinese-themed table decor, and thanks to Paul Walhus of Spring.net for stepping up as our photographer at the last minute.

// What's Next?

We're already back in planning mode for our next watch party. We've decided to focus on a hand-picked number of watch parties this season in order to create truly engaging fan experiences. But you won't have to wait long to see your F1 friends and meet new Austinites!

Tomorrow, Thursday, April 19, we're hosting a joint happy hour with EuroCircle - "a free informal community for expats and Europeans or Europhiles." Come celebrate the diversity of Austin at this international networking event and learn about Formula 1™ coming to Austin. Join us back at Icenhauer's tomorrow night from 6:00PM - 10:00PM for networking and mingling over cocktails and light hors d'oeuvres. Icenhauer's is located on the famed Rainey Street and you will feel truly welcome in this renovated 1895 home with an expansive patio and cool drinks!

Icenhauer's - 83 Rainey StreetWhat: Happy Hour with EuroCircle and The Austin Grand Prix

When: Thursday, April 19, 6:00PM - 10:00PM

Where: Icenhauer's, 83 Rainey Street, Austin, TX 78701

Why: Let’s celebrate the diverse crowd that Austin welcomes and embraces as well as the fantastic arrival of F1 in Austin!

Hosts: Kaisa Kokkonen (EuroCircle), Allison Berguin (France) and Kerri Olsen (The Austin Grand Prix)

Cost: Free

Parking: On surrounding streets and a pay lot where Rainey Street intersects with Driskill Street

Facebook Invite Here

 

Downtown Watch Parties Complete Lap 1

Fans eagerly gathered for the first 2012 Austin Grand Prix Downtown Watch Party on Sunday afternoon to kick off the season with the 2012 Formula 1 Qantas Australian Grand Prix.

One of Austin's most iconic downtown restaurants, Z'Tejas Southwestern Grill, welcomed F1 fans from Austin, Dallas, San Francisco, New York, Kansas City, DC, London, Germany and beyond. Fan enjoyed the delicious brunch buffet of southwestern and Tex-Mex fare, including an item I can't seem to find anywhere outside of Austin - Migas. Migas are eggs scrambled with tortilla chip strips, japanelos, salsa fresca and cheese - delicious! The location was ideal, the staff attentive and friendly, and the food and service, world-class. Thank you Z'Tejas!

In the multi-level private house fans had multiple options for enjoying the race - including a downstairs viewing room with a 10' high-def screen and 60" LCD complete with heart-pumping sound system. Upstairs, guest had the option to stay indoors or venture to the outdoor patio and enjoy the perfect Austin weather while still keeping up with the action on a large LCD screen nearby. Special thanks to IES for outfitting Z'Tejas into a rivaling F1 media center!

Our fans were lucky to be some of the first in Austin to meet the crew from K1 Speed - the nation's largest indoor kart racing chain that runs on high performance, zero-emission European electric karts. In just a few short weeks, Austin's own K1 Speed loction will open and our 15 lucky K1 Speed gift card winners will be able to put them to good use. On Sunday fans were able to check out one of their karts on display and hop on in. Everyone is excited about this new venue and we'll be sure to keep you up to date on their grand opening. I must admit, I can't wait to get out there and take one for a spin...Thank you K1 Speed!

We'll continue to share the F1 excitement with friends and fans throughout downtown Austin this season. We've chosen a handful of races to host watch parties, with China being the next race on the calendar on April 15. Stay tuned for more details.

Thanks to our friends and fans for coming out yesterday and special thanks to
Z'Tejas, K1 Speed and IES for making it a world-class event!

Downtown Watch Parties Start March 18

Z'Tejas Southwestern Grill - their original location on West 6th Street in downtown Austin, Texas

One of Austin's most iconic restaurants, Z'Tejas Southwestern Grill, will host the first Formula 1 2012 season watch party, Texas style!

Join us on Sunday, March 18 at 1:00PM to watch the Australian Grand Prix and enjoy a delicious Z'Tejas brunch buffet while cheering on your favorite drivers or learning more about the sport.

We've started an Eventbrite page to manage our events this season. This will be the most up-to-date place to find out about watch parties, gatherings and other community events in Austin.



Click here to read more about the Australian Grand Prix watch party on Eventbrite!

 

 

We Don't Hibernate in Austin, Texas

Austin Music Legend Stevie Ray Vaughn basks in the sunny delight of a January afternoon along the shores of Lady Bird Lake in Austin, TexasAustin is known as The Live Music Capital of The World, but an alternate description might be "The Get-Outside-And-Do-Something Capital of The World."

Public festivals, performances and showcases pack our social calendars, and our 75' F temperatures in January make it nearly impossible to stay indoors for a long period of time. (Yes, it's actually 75' F or 24' C in Austin right now.)

With that in mind, we wanted to share a new feature on our website, a free resource calendar for Austin community and motorsport events.

The calendar contains a diverse collection of events that we think you will enjoy in our fair city. Additionally, all Formula 1™ race weekends are plugged in for the 2012 season, and we'll also list MotoGP™, V8 Supercars™ and other motorsport events (because they will be in Austin in 2013!).

Click here for The Austin Grand Prix Community Calendar

Just like our Pinterest site, the calendar will be updated frequently, so continue to check back for updates (or subscribe via the Google Calendar button in the lower right corner). The calendar currently has events listed through March 2012.

If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to email us at Calendar {at} TheAustinGrandPrix {dot} com.

 


Circuit of The Americas Ready to Deliver $25 Million

Special Delivery for Mr. EcclestoneCircuit of The Americas has issued a bold statement on this Thanksgiving holiday: we have the cash to pay Formula One Management's 2012 race sanctioning fee and we've met the contractual requirements to proceed with our race. Now, it appears that the ball is in Bernie's court to countersign the contract. Here is the release:

Circuit of The Americas Ready to Pay Sanctioning Fee and Offering More
Proposal Satisfies 2012 Request, Accelerates Payments for Subsequent Years


AUSTIN, Texas - November 24, 2011 - Circuit of The Americas has responded to Formula One Management's contract requirements by agreeing to an immediate cash payment of the sanctioning fee for the 2012 United States Grand Prix (USGP). In addition, Circuit of The Americas has offered to establish an advance payment schedule for USGP races beyond 2012. The offer comes after several weeks of talks, and once accepted, will secure the USGP on the Formula 1 race calendar.

 "We have been ready to send Mr. Ecclestone a sanctioning fee check for some time now," said Bobby Epstein, founding partner of Circuit of The Americas. "He hasn't received it yet because the new contract presented to us two weeks ago contained unrealistic and unfeasible demands. We have signed and returned a contract similar to what we anticipated receiving. This race should be a reality, but if we are going to make the 2012 race date, we must receive a countersignature in the coming few days. We believe the teams, fans, sponsors and local business share our enthusiasm and hope that their voices will be heard."

We have been anticipating Bernie to make an announcement about our Austin Grand Prix this weekend, during the last race of the 2011 season from the Brazilian Grand Prix.

What is most interesting to us is that COTA has confirmed the viability to pay the 2012 race sanctioning fee immediately with $25 million in cash. You will recall, that the Comptroller of the State of Texas, Susan Combs, recently retracted her offer to pay Formula One Management its $25 million sanctioning fee in advance of the race. She explains the change of events in an interview with local Austin news channel KVUE; you can watch the unedited version of the video by clicking here.

How will Bernie respond? What role is Tavo playing going forward? With the recent halt in construction, is it feasible for us to finish the track in time for our slated November 18, 2012 race date? These are still real questions that will be answered in due time, but we feel reassured that our investors have answered Bernie's recent demands by committing the payment and contract.

As Will Buxton told us all back in June, we all want the 2012 race to happen, so let's MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Don't forget, we have our last downtown watch party of the 2011 season back at Six Lounge this Sunday. We'll kick things off at 1:30 PM with food from Pluckers Wing Bar and drink specials from Red Bull and Pepe Z Tequila. Come ready to race because Robert DeGroff will have his ever popular iRacing simulator on hand for guests to take for a spin.

Sunday, November 27, 1:30 PM
Six Lounge, 117 W. 4th Street, Austin
Free and open to adults over the age of 21
Facebook Event Invitation here

Hope to see you all this Sunday, and Happy Thanksgiving to our American friends!

Racing Around in Austin - Weekend Recap

We are very sad to hear about the passing of Italian MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli. You can read more about "Super SIC" and his motorcycle racing career here.

Last Friday we attended InnoTech - a business & technology conference in Austin - and got a chance to speak with Circuit of the Americas CMO Geoff Moore and Manoj Saxena of IBM. We look forward to sharing these exclusive interviews with you soon.

We'd also like to invite you to watch the inaugural Indian Grand Prix with us back at Six Lounge this Sunday. Here are the details:

Photo from Indian Grand Prix on Facebook - click for more

The Austin Grand Prix Downtown Watch Party Hosted by Six Lounge

Sunday, October 30, 1:30-4:30 PM

Six Lounge - 117 W. 4th Street, Austin, Texas

Watch the first Formula 1 race at the new Buddh International Circuit near Delhi, India. We are currently finalizing food and drink specials, and will have Robert DeGroff's F1 racing simulator for you to try out.

You can RSVP on Facebook or just show up on Sunday!