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2015 Buxton’s BIG TIME Bash Presented by The Austin Grand Prix

2015 Buxton’s BIG TIME Bash Presented by The Austin Grand Prix

2015 Buxton’s BIG TIME Bash Presented by The Austin Grand Prix

October 22, 2015 // The Rattle Inn

For the fourth consecutive year, Formula 1 fans came out in droves to experience a kick off to the grand prix weekend like no other: Buxton’s BIG TIME Bash Presented by The Austin Grand Prix. For a suggested donation of $10-20 at the door of The Rattle Inn, guests’ generosity surpassed our hopes yet again, with $25,511 raised throughout the evening and private donations taking the total to well over $40,000, with the money being split between Meals on Wheels and More of Austin and the Justin Wilson’s Children’s Fund. Both charities were elated with the generosity! The four-year total donation to Meals on Wheels and More, which serves home-bound seniors across Austin with daily nutritional meals, now totals over $60,000 from the Bash!

Doors opened at 7:00pm to a queued-up crowd stretching around three city blocks. After they entered and graciously donated at the door, guests went to the rooftop deck, where Bash host Will Buxton and NBC Producer, Jason Swales, were standing to welcome guests to the venue and thank them for coming.

Promptly at 7:30pm, event producer and Austin resident Kerri Olsen took to the stage to thank everyone for coming to the Bash before welcoming Buxton to the stage, complete with applause and cheers from the excited and lively crowd.

As always, the night kicked off with the NBC Sports broadcast team of Leigh Diffey, David Hobbs, and Steve Matchett joining host and colleague Will Buxton on stage. But new this year, the NBC show Off The Grid, which showcases the international cities hosting Formula 1 racing, visited Austin and filmed at the Bash! The show’s Producer, Blair Soden, is really pleased with the Austin episode and thinks it really showcases all of the awesomeness that Austin has to offer. It also showcases how much the people in the Formula 1 racing community love coming to Austin, Texas! Off The Grid: Austin premieres at 10:00pm CT Thursday, November 12, 2015 on NBCSN. The Austin Community is invited to join The Austin Grand Prix back at The Rattle Inn from 8:30-10:30pm Thursday evening to watch the premiere of the show with motorsport fans. This event is free and open to the public. Off The Grid: Austin will re-air on NBCSN Friday, November 13 at 11:30AM CT and Sunday, November 15 at7:30AM CT.

Back at the Bash, Williams Martini Racing’s Felipe Massa delighted the crowd, talking at length about his Formula 1 career and answering some tough questions from the crowd on his F1 rivalries with great humor.

Current Scuderia Ferrari reserve driver Esteban Gutierrez almost let slip his signing for the new Haas F1 team just days before the official announcement, with Williams Racing’s reserve driver Alex Lynn joining the fun and ribbing the Mexican over the “worst kept secret in F1.”

Alexander Rossi of Manor F1 Team took to the stage with enough applause and chanting to blow the roof off of The Rattle Inn! The American racer has taken to the stage at every Bash, and his continued support of the event over what was the busiest and biggest weekend of his racing career was hugely appreciated.

GP2 veterans and current IndyCar drivers Conor Daly and Luca Filippi rounded out the evening with tremendous stories of the US racing exploits.

Artist Paul Oz donated an original oil painting (numbered 6/100) of Aytron Senna piloting his Lotus 97T from the 1985 Formula 1 season. The piece brought in $3,000 for the charities by silent auction winner Paul Mulligan.

American Formula 1 driver Alexander Rossi signed a rear wing of his Manor F1 Team car before donating it as a door prize for the Bash. A member of the Austin media first won the piece, then graciously returned his raffle ticket to Buxton and asked him to re-draw a new winner from the guests’ tickets. Dennis Collins was elated to jump on stage and receive the piece from Buxton.

Jonathan Haggar won Graham & Leigh’s framed 3D laser cut model of the 2015 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix race track, the Circuit of The Americas.

The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team, fresh off the heels of sealing the 2015 Constructors’ Championship in Russia, added to the festivities of the evening. Similarly to the 2014 Bash, Mercedes donated two 2015 World Championship jerseys signed by both Mercedes teammates, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, which guests Adam Hauser and Mark Jarvis each took home. A Mercedes hat signed by Hamilton went to Justin Reschke, and Tina Standard took home a Mercedes hat signed by Rosberg. Wave Robinson and Jess Gibbons each took home signed prints from Hamilton piloting his Mercedes in past races.

In addition to Massa and Lynn joining Buxton on stage at the beginning of the night, Williams Martini Racing donated a number of prizes for the evening, including a Massa signed racing glove, a Valtteri Bottas signed racing glove, and two signed team hats (Bryan Simons, Oscar Perez, Bryan Lamm, and Mikael Hatch took each item home, respectively). A couple lucky guests took home two pairs of Williams Martini Racing sunglasses at the end of the event.

After Scuderia Ferrari reserve driver Gutierrez joined Massa and Buxton on stage, one of his past racing jerseys, as well as a Sebastian Vettel and a Kimi Raikkonen signed racing jersey, went to raffle winners Eric Weiss, Jen Rassler, and Ty Pryor, respectively.

Daniil ‘Dany’ Kvyat of Infiniti Red Bull Racing donated a number of prizes to the Bash: Alen Moffitt took home his signed racing balaclava, Michael Abel won his signed racing jersey, and Sam Wells won his signed Red Bull hat.

Fernando Alonso of McLaren Honda donated a signed print, as did teammate Jenson Button (complete with certificates of authenticity by the team); Jeff Stamp and Troy Yoshinga, respectively, took each home. Having just celebrated his 250th Grand Prix at the preceding race in Sochi, guest Heather Atteberry received one of Alonso’s celebratory ‘250th Grand Prix’ bandanas, which the team distributed in the Paddock in Russia. McLaren Honda also donated hats signed by both drivers, and Kristelyn Kalchthaler took one of them home (the other winner was mistakenly unrecorded).

Sergio Perez of Sahara Force India F1 Team donated two signed racing gloves, which Brandon Fruzia and Jared Johnson each won as a door prize.

Both of the Scuderia Toro Rosso drivers donated signed team hats; Tim Blanck took home the hat signed by Max Verstappen and Maria Gaviria won the Carlos Sainz signed hat. A few Scurderia Toro Rosso team lanyards were also handed out to the crowd at the end of the event.

American Photojournalist Jamey Price donated a number of original prints to the Bash, with the majority of them signed by drivers (winners in parentheses): Alexander Rossi (Logan Riekenberg); one of Nico Hulkenberg piloting his Sahara Force India car (Damian Samuel) and another with Hulkenberg behind the wheel of his Porsche as he won this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans (Rattle Inn employee Mike); and Sergio Perez racing in his Sahara Force India car (Chris Grew). Other prints included close up detail of the nose of the Scuderia Ferrari car (Mark Christman), track action of the Infiniti Red Bull Racing car on track (Chris Richardson), and a photo of the Scuderia Ferrari race car next to a vintage Ferrari racecar (Lynn Ortega).

The staff at The Rattle Inn were bar none: they worked tirelessly to welcome guests to the event and shared in their enthusiasm for the night’s festivities. We’ve received numerous compliments about how professional, upbeat, friendly, and helpful the entire staff was throughout the night, a reflection of the incredible management team behind them. We’d like to thank Ashley Copeland for her ongoing attention to detail and leadership at The Rattle Inn; without her help the Bash would not have happened! We hope our guests will return to The Rattle Inn and take advantage of their massive rooftop deck that overlooks downtown Austin or enjoy live music downstairs at Ray’s Backstage, a live music and entertainment area decorated with Ray Benson’s (front man of the Western swing band Asleep at the Wheel) personal collection of pictures, mementoes, records and concert memorabilia throughout the room.

We’d also like to thank Collin Hardeman of Amaz1n Entertainment Productions and his fabulous crew of photo- and videographers for taking time out of their jam-packed racing weekend festivities to shoot at our event! Amaz1n specializes in media coverage of small, medium, and large-scale events; check out their website at and they're on Facebook and Instagram. We’ll continue to share images from the Bash on The Austin Grand Prix website and social media channels (@AustinGrandPrix on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram).

For the fourth year, Buxton’s BIG TIME Bash was organized and co-produced by Austin resident Kerri Olsen, who started the website,, with her brother Kevin Olsen in 2010. Since Formula 1 management announced plans to build the first purpose-built race track in the United States just outside of Austin, the sister and brother team focused on building a reputable, independent platform to educate and engage local and international F1 fans. Buxton’s BIG TIME Bash is an annual culmination of their efforts over the past five years. Their focus remains in creating inclusive, fan-focused events that also benefit the Austin community.

The annual Bash wouldn’t be possible without the tireless work and support of Will Buxton. Will’s dedication to the sport of Formula 1 racing, paired with his passion for motorsports in America, are exemplified in the energy he brings to stage and generosity in staying to the very end of the night to meet, talk, and take photographs with fans. On one of the busiest weekends as a Formula 1 broadcast journalist, he genuinely looks forward to sharing the night with fans and allowing them to get up close and personal with the sport of Formula 1. Thank you, Will!

We cannot possibly express enough gratitude to everyone that gives their time, donations, and support to the annual Bash. We look forward to welcoming everyone back for year five for what’s slated to be an even bigger and better Bash for Formula 1 racing fans joining us in Austin!

If you would like to donate to Meals on Wheels and More throughout the year, you can do so at this dedicated link:

Mario Andretti Speaks about the future of Formula 1

Mario Andretti Speaks about the future of Formula 1

Early Saturday morning, Formula 1 World Champion Mario Andretti sat down with a small panel of journalist to discuss the state of Formula 1, the future of American drivers and the addition of an American team in 2016.

American Conor Daly Testing F1 Car Again

Conor Daly will test the Sahara Force India Team's VJM-05 again

Fresh off a second place finish in the GP3 series at Silverstone this past weekend, American Conor Daly is making his way up the ranks with a potential American seat in Formula 1. Son of former F1 and CART driver Derek Daly, Conor is testing today with the Sahara Force India Team in England. This will be the second testing session the American will undergo in a Formula 1 car, inching his way closer to a permanent position in the sport. Obviously excited to pilot the car just two months after his first run with the team, Conor had this to share about his work with the team:

"Formula One cars are very complex, just learning how to operate the steering wheel takes time. These tests help me understand what it takes to drive an F1 car and of course the biggest contribution I want to make is to the team's ongoing improvement over the season," said Daly. "It's amazing how much work we get through in a day as I spend most of the time in the car."

In today's session, Conor will do a series of runs to test various aerodynamic components of the car and give the team more data on how the car is performing at top speeds. To maximize the speed and decrease the potential of incidents, this type of session is conducted on an airstrip where the track is long and easy to reach top speeds, as well as plenty of run-off space to correct mistakes.

With this session being Conor's second piloting the Force India VJM-05, there's an ever increasing chance the young American could see a more permanent role in the top racing series. His GP3 performance shows he has the chops to hang with the best in his class, so any time in an F1 car should give him an edge over other young drivers looking to make the jump from other amateur series.

// Update

Though it's not from the Sahara Force India Team, this video from Team Lotus at Duxford with Caterham shows what a straight line aero testing session looks like.  Included are some interviews and a Caterham doing some doughnuts.

Austin Pit Stop - May 18, 2012

Today marks the official six month mark until the Inaugural Formula 1 United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas. What better way to celebrate than with a ton of news about motorsports and Austin!

// Austin News

Picture of the Ferrari F2001 on display by Austin Auto ShowThe 2012 Austin Auto Show is this weekend at the Austin Convention Center. Peruse the latest offerings from auto manufacturers and enjoy some extra perks, like the "Sim-Zilla" racing simulator by Ford (watch a video on their Facebook page here) and two Formula 1 show cars on display - a Ferrari F2001 that was driven by Michael Schumacher and the Williams FW33 with updated livery.

Tickets are $7 and the show runs Friday through Sunday from 10AM-10PM except on Sunday, when it ends at 6:00PM.

Formula Expo continues to add to their roster, with representatives from Williams and Lotus F1 Teams announced to attend. In addition to a "Pit Stop Challenge" and simulators, seven historic Formula One cars will be on display.

Formula Expo is June 16-17, also at the Austin Convention Center, and ticket packages range from $11.25-$50.00 and are on sale now.

// COTA News

The Austin American-Statesman reports Austin is "on track" for our November F1 race, shares a construction update and continues to keep public interest in mind while requesting access to records in the ongoing court case between Tavo Hellmund and Circuit of The Americas.

Racing towards the finish line for ticket prices, COTA sent out a pricing survey to gauge attendees' preferences in seats and understand what they are expecting to spend.

// F1 News

Maldonado carries his cousin away from the Williams Garage. Source: TwitterShortly after Pastor Maldonado's epic win at the Spanish Grand Prix last weekend, a fire broke out in the Williams F1 Team garage. Initial reports indicated members of various teams were affected and taken by care flight for medical attention. Perhaps this heroic photo of Maldonado carrying his cousin captured the events of the day best. Read more on what is known about the fire in this Williams Press Release.

American Alexander Rossi made us proud during his run at Friday practice of the Spanish GP. You can read the full report here, and here is what Rossi had to say about the experience:

″I am very pleased with how this morning's session went. We completed the program the team had set and I acclimatised quickly to the step up to F1. This isn't my first time working with the team, I already have a day at the Abu Dhbai young driver test last year under my belt, but coming into a full race weekend is a very different proposition to the young driver test. Today wasn't about setting the quickest lap I could - there may have been another seven or eight tenths to be found but the main thing today was to learn as much as I could, contribute by following the plan, give the engineers clear, concise feedback, and not make any mistakes. That's what we did so I think it's been pretty much as good as it could have been.″

But we're also excited that Conor Daly, American driver and winner of last weekend's GP3 round two race in Barcelona, jumped in a Force India car this week for data aero mapping. Read more here.

The F1 teams and drivers are currently preparing for the next race on the F1 2012 calendar, the Grand Prix De Monaco in Monte Carlo. Stay tuned as we follow them to racing's Most Glamorous Race of the Season.

// Moto News

Yesterday the Twitterverse was chatting about MotoGP Champion Casey Stoner and his plan to retire at the end of the MotoGP season, citing his disappointment in the direction of the series. Today Autosport published an interview with the "boss of the rights holders to the MotoGP World Championship," Carmelo Ezpeleta. In the interview, there is a brief hint that during this month "we will know more" about the 10 year agreement between MotoGP and Kevin Schwantz in regards to COTA.

// Carroll Shelby (Jan 11, 1923 - May 10, 2012)

Carroll Shelby accepts the first-place trophy after winning the 200-mile International Grand Prix on April 3, 1960, at the Riverside Raceway in California. Associated Press.Carroll Shelby, legendary racer, Texan, chili-lover and father of the iconic Shelby Cobras and Mustangs, passed away last Thursday in Dallas, Texas.

Shelby won numerous races, including the 1959 24 Hours of LeMans and three national sports-car championships in the US. Driving a supercharged, specifically-modified Austin-Healey 100S he set 16 US and international speed records and was named Sports Illustrated "Driver of the Year" in 1956 and 1957. Unfortunately, heart complications forced him to retire from racing in 1960, so he transformed his passion for racing cars into building them.

In 1962 he built the first Shelby Cobra, the CSX2000, and in 1963 put his fleet of Cobras up against Ferraris, Porsches and Jaguars in Europe.

In the book The Cobra-Ferrari Wars 1963-1965, Shelby once said:

We knew, plus or minus, what capabilites of the Ferrari were, and we knew we would beat it. I knew that, if I could get the Daytona coupe, Ferrari wouldn't be in business.

Read more in this tribute, "A Life Well Lived."

American Conor Daly To Test Force India F1 Car

American GP3 driver Conor Daly gets fitted in the Sahara Force India VJM05, May 15th, 2012
Coming off of a spectacular win in the GP3 series at Barcelona, American racer Conor Daly is getting his chance to join the Formula 1 club as the Sahara Force India team announced that Conor will be testing some car configurations tomorrow in England.  Conor will be helping Force India test out various aerodynamic options and collecting data as they look to improve the VJM05 car for the 2012 season.

Yesterday, Conor was fitted for a seat in preparation for Thursday's test and had the following to say about the opportunity:

Someone seriouisly might have to pinch or kick me because I feel like I'm dreaming! So thankful for this opportunity.

Over the weekend, Conor secured his first win for the Lotus GP team at the Barcelona GP3 Series race, garnering the attention of many in the Formula 1 scene, including Stefano Domenicali, the Ferrari team principal, and former F1 world champion and American driver, Mario Andretti, who tweeted:


Conor's performance in the GP3 series has proven he is a great fit for the sport, and entering as a testing role for an up-and-coming team like Force India will be a great match for him.  With Alexander Rossi testing with the Caterham F1 Team and now Conor Daly's position with Force India, evidence is mounting that the teams are keen to gain American eyes on their cars.  It could be just a matter of months before we see one of these talented Americans on the grid for the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas.