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SENNA

Austin Officials On The Ground for British GP

 

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell, City Manager Marc Ott and Police Chief Art Acevedo are just some of the Texans at Silverstone this weekend for the British Grand Prix. Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr had to cancel her trip due to fire danger in Central Texas with our lack of rain and 100' F+ temperatures (typical Texas summer).

The purpose of this trip is for city officials to start to understand the magnitude of a Formula 1 weekend in person. As the Statesman reported last week, representatives at Silverstone will meet with their Austin counterparts in the track's nearby county of Northamptonshire. "Silverstone is similar to the F1 track near Elroy, as both are permanent tracks in somewhat rural areas," said COTA spokeswoman Julie Loignon.

Before he boarded his flight, here is what Chief Acevedo had to say:

On my way to ABIA for London fact finding mission. Look forward to the learning, and hope to bring back some solid lessons learned.

Austin's YNN reporters Russell Wilde and Jeff Stensland are also in England, and took some time to speak with Chief Acevedo after his first day at Silverstone.  The 24-hour news channel is the only local Austin news crew in attendance this weekend, gaining valuable first-hand knowledge to share with Austin upon their return. Chief Acevedo shared his thoughts with YNN about the scale of the event:

You can't truly appreciate or grasp the complexity and the monstrosity that this event is going to be for Austin. It's going to be something we've never experienced.

Kudos to Police Chief Art Acevedo who is tweeting up a storm! Pun intended, as Silverstone is getting dumped on by non-stop rain which greatly affected this morning's practice 3 and qualifying sessions. Hey gang - bring back some rain for us, deal?

From his Twitter account, Chief Acevedo is giving his followers a feel for what is to be expected during an F1 weekend. Check out these highlights in conjunction with his photos above.

// Friday

F-1 traffic is really bad. Today venue only has practice races and the roads in the area are dead stopped. Contra flow will be used in ATX.

Police operations are up and running.

Lot of folks are bringing camper trailers out here in the Silverstone Area.

Lots of rain in Great Britain. Flood warnings issues throughout the county.

My thanks go out to the British Government for their assistance with logistics today.

Just finished nearly 30 hour work day. Getting a bite to eat and get some down time. Good first day discussions with British Officials.

// Saturday

On the road for day two of fact finding mission. Forecast calls for more rain. Slept like a log.

Traffic challenges have been a huge eye opener.

Traffic nightmare started early today. Contra flow is being used tomorrow. Flexibility of operation will be critical.

Traffic lines start early and last all day.

F1 traffic backed up early on qualifying day. No Law Enforcement in sight along traffic route. 80,000 folks expected.

Significant number of attendees are using bicycles as mode of transportation.

F1 traffic on way in to venue is one lane most of the way in. Lots of folks in foot. Extensive use of double decker buses in/around venue.

Inside F1 venue at Silverstone. Cool day with heavy menacing cloud cover.

Double decker buses at F1 being used extensively. (See photo above)

Mobile police and EMS command posts on site.

EMS First Aid station. (See photo above)

Steady flow of helicopters constantly shuttling folks in. With close vicinity of ABIA ATC should plan on extra staff.

Heavy rain on and off here wrecking havoc.

Made it to the event site this morning. Sorry couldn't tweet with the heavy rain and large crowds cell coverage poor.

Mobile police station inside venue. Public safety highly visible presence.

Mobile first aid station inside. Significant EMS presence throughout venue. Hundreds of medical incidents during event.

Received a lot of good information from local officers. Rain related frustration at camp sites were problematic.

Mobile field hospital inside venue. Receives extensive briefing. Issues range from headaches to cardiac arrest.

Plenty of EMS coverage as [seen] below. (See photo above)

[Medical] evacuation copter on site at all times. ATX will have contact with Star Flight.

Inside Command post. We will have EOC at CTECC, DOC at APD and CP at Formula 1 activated.

We can't go on without fuel. Local cod fish and chips. Pretty good stuff. Wish my 4 year old was here to eat my peas! (See photo above)

Overall very good information gathered today. The interaction with local public safety personnel was very informative.

We have meetings set up with local government officials tomorrow. Looking forward to coming home. Missing ATX!

Great to travel with a Mayor and CM who ask questions that are relevant and on point. Observations lead to talk about application to ATX.

security appears to be tight and effective.

Rain has finally taken a time out after heavy down pours.

Interesting to see 43,000 folks camping at sites around F1 venue. ATX will not offer option at site this year but will as early as 2013.

// TV Coverage

Just a reminder that the British Grand Prix will be broadcast at 11AM Central on your local FOX channel tomorrow. The pre-race and post-race show will be on SPEED channel. Enjoy the race!

The Art of Driving

Today, on the anniversary of Ayrton Senna's death in 1994, I'd like to propose a bit of a debate.

Can an athlete's performance be considered art?

Art is a word that has the capacity to ignite ferocious debate. Most reasonable folks can agree that the works of Mozart and Shakespeare and DaVinci and Miles Davis are on equal footing when it comes to applying the "This is Art" label. But is "Piss Christ" art? Is Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" art? Are Jackson Pollack's splattered canvases art? Are the works of Ruby the elephant art?

What is the definition of art?

I'm not an art historian, an art scholar or and art expert of any kind whatsoever. I do appreciate art and consider its creation to be one of the defining characteristics of humanity. I think The Who's "Live at Leeds" is as important an artistic statement as Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, so take my opinion for what it's worth. But that's where I go for my definition. I tend to think of art as any expression of the human condition. Art, like beauty, is all in the eye of the beholder.

So the question is, could Ayrton Senna's performances in a Formula 1 car be called a work of art? Do those drives say as much about the human condition as Charles Mingus' "Epitaph" or Michelangelo's "Universal Judgement"? Can an athletic performance be considered art?

While you're considering it, find "Senna" on Netflix or wherever you get your movies these days, and watch it.

SENNA Returns To Austin

With the arrival of the SENNA film at the SXSW Film Festival in March this year, motorsports fans and film buffs have shared a collective passion for the first time in many years.  Striking the chord of emotion, competition and passion, the SENNA film has reached an wider audience in the U.S. than the film's team ever imagined.

Lap One Done With the Support of Our Fans!


We are excited to celebrate with you the one year anniversary of the announcement of Austin, Texas as the future home of Formula One™ in the United States starting in 2012. It was also one year ago today that we founded The Austin Grand Prix and embarked upon our mission to bring the most comprehensive news surrounding this announcement to fans around the world. Our mission was simple: “To bridge the gap between racing fans and Austin and welcome everyone to the future home of Formula One™.”

We are extremely grateful for the support of our fans from Austin to Australia and everywhere in between; whether you’ve connected with us via our dedicated website, Facebook page, Twitter account, Vimeo video page, or met us out and about in the streets of Austin at a watch party, networking event, movie premiere, press conference or any other exciting event. Thank YOU for supporting our efforts to be the new media and community resource for the Circuit of the Americas™ under construction in Austin, Texas as the future home of Formula One™ and MotoGP racing, starting in 2012.

On location at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX

What's Next?

  • 3 June 2011: The FIA World Motor Sport Council will meet and discuss rescheduling of the cancelled Bahrain GP and preliminary talks of a 2012 race calendar.
  • November 2011: Expected announcement of finalized 2012 race calendar.
  • June 2012: When COTA has been told to “be ready” for an inaugural race. Also, a June race date would make logical sense, if the track was ready by this time, because the cars should already be on the North American continent, coinciding with the Canadian Grand Prix.
  • September/October 2012: Another logical date for the USGP because the cars are shipped through Dallas, Texas (about a 3 hour drive from Austin) on their way to Brazil in South America for the Brazilian GP. Also, back in April, the University of Texas said their Longhorns Football Team would consider moving a football game to accommodate a race weekend in Austin - which would be unprecedented!

Headed to Montreal!

We are also excited to be packing our bags for Montreal in two weeks for the Canadian Grand Prix from 9-13 June. We hope to meet as many F1 fans as possible and have created a casual meet up in Montreal, which you can RSVP for on our Facebook page and stay tuned for more information.

 



"SENNA" Wins The Hearts Of Austin

It is hard to believe that it was just two months ago that we had the great Kerri and Kevin with SENNA Director Asif Kapadia at SXSWhonor of working alongside Director Asif Kapadia and Working Title Films to help promote and welcome the Texas premiere of the SENNA film during Austin’s famed South By Southwest Film Festival. Thank you for helping sell out both screenings of the film at the iconic Paramount Theatre on Congress Avenue. If you were able to attend a screening, we hope you enjoyed the film as much as we did! If not, check out this exclusive video interview of Asif at the Social Media Clubhouse. Please also continue to support SENNA for next week’s UK release (3 June) and a broader US statewide release planned for 12 August. We want to continue to serve as a reliable resource for the SENNA film so please check our website in the coming week as we roll out some amazing new SENNA film features.

 

How Can You Help?

Another question we are frequently asked is how our fans and supporters can help. Here are a few ideas:

  • Sign-up for our newsletter and tell your friends and colleagues about it!
  • Got an idea? A burning question? A referral? Send us an email anytime atOur fan and friend Heath showing his support at the 2011 Australian GP! Info@TheAustinGrandPrix.com. We would love to hear from you!
  • Get your hands on the first product promoting the return of Formula One™ to Texas via our COME AND RACE IT™ shirts! We will also be adding more products in the coming months.
  • Please send us your pictures in your COME AND RACE IT™ shirt, as we are compiling photographs of our fans from around the world, just like the one shown here from Down Under!

We are extremely grateful to our fans and supporters because we have been building The Austin Grand Prix to serve you. Sometimes we are asked: “Why is it the Austin Grand Prix? Don’t you think that is exclusive of the rest of Texas, or the US, or North America?” We are the Austin Grand Prix because we are a part of the social fabric of the Austin community; we believe over the next twelve months you will start to understand why we love this great city so much. We look forward to welcoming you and we hope you will join us in 2012 for the inaugural United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.

 

Thank You and COME AND RACE IT™!

 

Kerri Olsen and Kevin Olsen
Co-Founders

 

Conning your friends and loved ones into seeing a great film (about Formula One)

Image Courtesy Working Title FilmsJalopnik has posted a handy dandy guide to convincing others, who probably don't maintain the sort of fevered emotions about racing that we do, that they should go and see Senna. We here at The Austin GP are ardent supporters of this film, not just because it's about the demigod Ayrton Senna, but because it is quite simply a great film. You should go see it at any and every opportunity, then send Asif and Manish an email thanking them for doing the impossible - making the esoteric accessible and captivating to the average person.

Be sure to check out the interview with Asif following Senna's premiere at SXSW.

Anyway, as promised, here's the link to Justin Hyde's three-point methodology for tricking others into doing what they ought to, anyway... go out and see Senna in theaters right now.