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Is Momentum Building at Austin's Newest Park?

Austin's track is gaining momentum, YEEHAW! It's been an amazing couple of weeks since all activity at the SXSW Film, Music and Interactive conference in Austin, Texas. Let's recap:

-Congratulations to Asif Kapadia, Manish Pandey, Working Title Films, Universal and all parties involved with the SENNA film, as release dates have been progressing:

  • 13 April - Valencia, Spain - Spanish premiere
  • 4 and 6 May - Toronto - Canadian International documentary film festival, "Hot Docs"
  • 3 June - UK Release
  • 15-19 June - Sydney, Australia Film Festival
  • 21 July - Australian Release
  • July - US Release

-Asif and the SENNA online outlets (Twitter, Facebook, web) have been working hard to keep us all informed of the latest release info. It is motivating to read inquires from fans all over the world: "When can I see SENNA in MY hometown!?" Keep asking and keep coming back here. We will continue to help bring this movie to you because it truly is an epic film which we so thoroughly enjoyed. Believe it or not, we have even more #SENNAxSW content to share with you in the coming weeks!

Congratulations to the entire Formula One drivers and teams for the amazing first two races of the season. Although Bahrain was cancelled, Sebastian Vettell gave everyone a run for their money at Australia and Malaysia. Check out this Formula 1 interview here.

And now...there have been many reports in the past few weeks that suggest development at the future home of the Austin Grand Prix is racing ahead.

-Tom O'Keefe published his recap of his Texas visit on Autosport today; you can read it here.

-Dave Doolittle, of the Austin American-Statesman, reports that zombie roadkill is halting F1 construction at the site! Oh no!

-Bob Varsha, of SPEED TV, said "We have a delegation from SPEED that’s going to go visit the track and assess the situation with our own eyeballs on April 13."

-During SPEED TV's airing of the Malaysian Grand Prix on April 9/10, they also made an announcement regarding the upcoming April 12 "special news conference" and said they plan on bringing you a live feed on Tuesday night at 8pm ET.

-Austin's KVUE News posted a supershort video of earth-movers and construction at the site from the ground level, however we're still partial to our exclusive aerial video which F1 Russia picked up and sent us viral! Here it is if you'd rather not dig through our archives:

Exclusive: First Aerial Video of Austin Track Construction from The Austin Grand Prix on Vimeo.


So, with all the recent rumblings, we want to know what YOU think will happen at tomorrow's news conference. Here are a few ideas we've heard and/or made up over a few cups of coffee this AM:

  • Tavo Hellmund and Bob Varsha will skydive out of an airplane to give you an idea of a real aerial descent upon the future track site, since they weren't too happy with our photos or video.
  • Since the Bahrain race was cancelled, construction is really going to ramp up and the Austin race will actually happen in <gasp> 2011 later this year!
  • Red Bull is going to return to Austin, the home of their largest U.S. Flugtag audience of 85,000, and create a permanent Flugtag stage constructed over the F1 pit area. (What's Flugtag? Read recap of 2007 event here.)

    by Lynn M. Stone

  • The official F1 USGP team is going to formally name the track: "The Best Little Race House In Texas."
  • SPEED TV will start the highly-anticipated 24/7 webcam of progress, so you never have to miss a second of the non-stop action as earthmovers crawl around the track!
  • Bernie decided that in addition to artificial rain, he would also like to create artificial snow for future driving "excitement" the summer.
  • While Tavo and Bob dive into the track location, Bernie will be on the ground to catch them atop his new ride, this lovely Texas Longhorn:


What are you expecting tomorrow and what would you like to see?

Before I go, I wanted to introduce you to our expanded product line at COME AND RACE IT©! We now have shirts in 4 different colors:



Natural, Texas Orange, Heather Grey and Ladies Mocha Brown! (Click on the pictures above to go directly to the order page.)

Here's our shirt Down Under at the Australian Grand Prix last month! We would love to get pics of you in your shirts at every Grand Prix and from all over the world. Please send them to us at COMEANDRACEIT {at} Thank you for your ongoing support!

EXCLUSIVE: First Aerial Video of Austin Track Construction

Ever since I snapped the first aerial pictures of the future Austin track site out the window of my Southwest Airline flight in November, we’ve been pumped about this next post. An old friend and pilot took us up yesterday to shoot some amazing aerial footage of the track site.

The following video shows the view from our flight path coming from downtown Austin, which is west of the track site. We flew in over downtown Austin and then headed due east over the Austin Bergstrom International Airport (“ABIA”), paused for the commercial flight pattern (while two planes took off, which was pretty cool to watch from above) and then headed south to the track.  The Austin track is situated about 2.5 miles southeast of ABIA.  We proceeded to fly clockwise around the track. It was easy to point out the location from the air as the biggest thing to notice is the large, sand-filled rectangular area which borders the road FM 812 on the south end of the track.  Last week the Statesman reported that the attorney for the USGP project, Richard Suttle "confirmed that the layout for the track has been cleared," but from yesterday's flight it looked to us as though only a third of the Austin land has been graded. Maybe we are misunderstanding the context of his quote. What do you think?

Exclusive: First Aerial Video of Austin Track Construction from The Austin Grand Prix on Vimeo.

More Video and High Resolution Pictures coming soon!!

Soundtrack courtesy of Ghostland Observatory, one of our favorite Austin bands, check them out on MySpace.

A special thanks to Ben and Coy, without which this would not have been possible!

Construction Update: Site Grading in Progress


Construction Update: Site Grading at the Track Site from The Austin Grand Prix on Vimeo.

Things have changed quite a bit at the track in just the last few weeks as grading of the southern portion of the track is underway.  This is starting to turn out to be a pretty exciting time right now as the site is really starting to change from the original landscape. I took a drive out to the site this afternoon and snapped some pics and threw together a quick diagram to show our audience what is happening where (images), so they can get a feel for what's going on out here in Austin.

The construction entrance to the facilities, Caterpillar in the backgroundThe main portion of the work is concentrated on the southern edge of the site, just south of where the proposed main grandstands will be located.  This is where a welcome center and parking will be, just above the main entrance for the entire complex off of Highway 812.  As of today, this area is being graded by heavy equipment (i.e. leveling the dirt to the desired angle for drainage and construction) and the construction crews are settling in, setting up temporary offices and other facilities.Heavy Machines moving dirt and leveling for construction

There were probably 20 heavy machines moving during the late afternoon, moving dirt from other locations and compacting land where new dirt is added.  There were additional crews on site, including surveyors and engineers, as well as a small crew working on the north-western perimeter.  It's pretty apparent that things are moving along at a fast pace, and the landscape is quickly turning into a construction site day by day.

We know that you will be excited to see our images from today, go to the gallery to see more...

 A view from the southeast corner, looking northwest across the site towards downtown Austin

Track Site Visit and Highlights of the Facilities

Today we want to introduce you to a few exciting things:

1.   Kevin and I shot our first on-location video at the future track site in Elroy, Texas. It took a few takes (HA!) but we’re really pleased with being able to share with you actual footage of us at the track site and an in-person perspective of what is currently in Elroy and what is to come. Though we do expect track construction will ramp up in the next few weeks, we wanted to give you a view of the site before things start to really change on the ground.

Track Site Visit January 30th, 2011 from The Austin Grand Prix on Vimeo.


2.   We’ve also spent a lot of time thinking about our interactions with you, our fans and readers, and how to deliver the most unique experience. Why do you want to keep coming back to TAGP website? Why do you follow us on Twitter and interact with us via our Facebook page? We launched this site on May 25, 2010 because we, ourselves, were having a hard time finding interesting and credible news. We were literally scouring the internet for any and all news surrounding the official FIA announcement of F1 coming to Austin. We didn’t want you to have to go through the same trouble so we launched this site as a hub for all info with the hopes of becoming the #1 fan site for F1 fans worldwide who want to learn more about Austin, and Austinites who want to learn more about Formula One racing. As more sites begin to populate the web, we’ve discovered a deeper niche that needs to be filled: sure you can Google “Austin” and read all about it on Wikipedia. But what does Austin look like when you step off the plane? What does the drive from Elroy, Texas to 6th Street look like? With our combined love, respect and excitement about Austin, we’d like to re-introduce ourselves as your “Austin Ambassadors.” We’re committed to taking the two-dimensional approach of information delivery and amping it up to three-dimensional: engaging videos and interviews so you start to familiarize yourself with this great city as you prepare for your many trips to Austin starting in 2012!

3.  Choices Choices Choices! We’ve been listening to fan feedback and are expanding our merchandise line. We will soon offer a different style of t-shirt (a more traditional make with a heavier fabric), a different cut (women’s tees) and more COLORS! We’ll also be adding additional products in the coming months as we continue to market The Austin Grand Prix via our adopted slogan: COME AND RACE IT©!

Thank you for an amazing eight months. We are extremely excited about continuing to expand our reach as the #1 fan site for Formula One returning to the United States via Austin, Texas in 2012!


Here are some photos from our visit in November, 2010 as well:

 View of Track Site from the South West Corner


View of Downtown Austin from Highway 812

LIVE FEED of Today's Austin City Council Meeting re Austin Grand Prix Funding

Austin City Council is meeting today to discuss water and wastewater funding as it applies to the Formula One site in Elroy, Texas. 

We have been advised that Items # 2 and 3 on the Agenda will be discussed at 1:30PM CST today.  You can watch a live feed of the meeting here.

We will also be live-tweeting on our Austin Grand Prix twitter account, which you can read and interact with us at, here.

More details to follow.