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Hot Texas Nights Bring Motorsports to Austinites

 // More photos in the gallery

What do you get when you mix a hot new venue with a lively international bunch and one of the oldest automobile manufacturers in the sport of Formula 1? Another successful event creating buzz about Formula 1 and motorsports in Austin.

// Javelina

Javelina is the first restaurant to open up in a popular part of Austin - Rainey Street. This recognized historic district is now Austin's newest entertainment district, situated close enough to a highway (IH-35) but closer yet to Lady Bird Lake in southeast downtown. The majority of the bungalow-style homes have been renovated and repurposed as bars with food trailers sprinkled throughout the 120 acres, but when Javelina opened earlier this winter it became the latest laid-back Austin bar to offer cocktails uniquely paired with in-house prepared bites.

What makes it uniquely Austin is its ample patio space: lining the lot line is a very rustic, very Austin untreated mesquite wood fence, lined with just the right amount of twinkle for hot Texas nights. Speaking of heat, even though we hit 100' F as guests started to arrive at 6:00 PM, the conversation, crowd and vibe was so great it wasn't a point of contention. An equally inviting indoor space provided relief for guests until the sun set, with a newly installed shuffleboard table providing entertainment for guests.

Javelina prepared light hors d'oeuvres and offered a $5 "F1 Burger" (or veggie burger) for the event, but one of my favorite stories from the night comes from Adam Moorehead of Legion Firearms. He joined a table of guests and started learning about the dynamic international makeup of the group. Adam prepared a plate with chips and queso - a Texas staple - and others at the table did not know what queso was. Adam took advantage of the opportunity to introduce the group to the melted cheese appetizer that is served in nearly every restaurant in Texas, especially of the Tex-Mex variety, and they (of course) loved it! This is a small example of friendly Texans sharing and teaching others, this time over food.

With queso and cocktails flowing, Javelina's General Manager, Carlos Gacharna, noticed everyone having a good time. He said it was great to see all the name tags with countries from all over the world.

// EuroCircle

That's a unique feature of EuroCircle events that many enjoy: Kaisa Kokkonen, who is originally from Finland, founded EuroCircle in New York in 1999 and is now an Austin resident, prepares the nametags which list the guest and their country of origin. This proves to be an instant conversation starter as you quickly get a sense of the true diversity of the crowd. Guests easily connect with others by reading the country listed on their nametag and greeting each other in their native language.

You may recall we joined forces with the largest networking group with an international influence a few months ago. We had such a positive experience that we wanted to do it again, and this time we invited a new partner to join us to make the connection to motorsports even more apparent.

// Mercedes Benz of Austin

If you're an F1 fan you are already familiar with Mercedes' involvement in Formula 1 - the Mercedes AMG Petronas team had a great showing at last week's European Grand Prix in Valencia, Spain. Arguably the most well-known F1 driver of modern day, Michael Schumacher, completed his first podium finish since returning to the sport in 2006 after a short retirement. His teammate, Nico Rosberg, won this year's Chinese Grand Prix, took second place in Monaco, and is currently 5th in the Formula One World Championship with a total of 75 points.

For Austinites not yet familiar with Mercedes AMG, the event proved to be another experience to teach others in a social environment. Patrick Van den Nieuwenhuysen of Mercedes Benz of Austin provided the hosts with stylish white, turquoise and silver Mercedes AMG Petronas hats (team colors) so guests could easily identify us among the lively crowd. Our helpful event ambassadors, Jenny Tynes, Mike Boone, Allison Berguin and Mike McKinnon greeted guests at the entrance and mingled throughout the night while sharing their working knowledge of motorsports with fans of every experience level. They also distributed Mercedes' gifts of embroidered bags, key chains and tire pressure gauges to guests which were appropriately themed for the event.

Patrick also invited Will Hardeman of Continental Automotive Group to experience his first EuroCircle event and showcase one of the slickest cars on the road right now - the Mercedes E Class. Javelina had a perfect space in front of the raw-mesquite fence out front to position the car for guests to check out on their way in to the event. It also proved to be an opportunity for passersby to peek in and join us.

Thank you to Mercedes Benz of Austin for providing the light hors d'oeuvres and goodies for our guests and Javelina Bar for hosting us for the evening. We'd also like to thank Mike Boone and Jenny Tynes for welcoming the 200+ guests and Kaisa Kokkonen and Allison Berguin for insuring EuroCircle Austin members came out and enjoyed the evening.

// We look forward to seeing everyone at our next event!

 // More photos in the gallery

Join us Thursday Night in Downtown Austin!

Javelina Bar - 69 Rainey Street, Austin, Texas

The Austin Grand Prix and EuroCircle will be hosting another networking and happy hour event with Mercedes Benz of Austin.

This event will be themed around motorsports such as F1, MotoGP, V8 Supercars and World Superbike. We highly encourage you to wear you favorite team shirt, colors and/or accessories to support motorsports coming to Austin beginning in November. Of course, if you would rather wear your cocktail dress or nice shirt, please do - we will not judge!

The purpose of this event will be to reunite, educate and promote Formula 1 and motorsports in Austin over drinks, hors d'oeuvres and common interests (or soon to be!). There will also be an informal discussion about the sport of Formula 1, as well as opportunities to chat with others and learn more.

Mercedes Benz of Austin will have goodies for the first 20 guests and more Mercedes/F1 accessories thereafter.

Light hors d'oeuvres will be served as well as $5 F1 Burgers (or Veggie Burger) and drink specials.

This is a free event and everyone is welcome! But please note that guests must be 21+ to gain admission into this bar.

// Please RSVP by clicking on this link //

Austin Pit Stop - April 27, 2012

205 days until the Inaugural Formula 1 United States Grand Prix! Let's see what's going on in Austin.

// Austin Impact

 The pits at K1 Speed Austin!K1 Speed, the premiere indoor karting track with locations throughout the US, opened the doors of their first Texas location today. Based on the responses we've seen online, this is the Austin hot spot for all racing enthusiasts! Check out their Austin Facebook page for more details. Our friend, Caulen Lauria, got behind the wheel and set the current fastest lap time at 28.134. Here's what he had to say:

The track, the karts, the people, the organization and the atmosphere are fantastic! They were running a shorter track layout though to accommodate 5 races in an hour. The electric karts are wicked fun. K1 Speed is one of the coolest places in Austin!

Planning your Austin trip and wanting to create some truly memorable experiences? Check out the recently launched Formula Austin venture between Anne Fish and Andy Fish. I recently spoke with Anne at one of our events and her passion for Austin and excitement about F1 coming to town were infectious. Pit Pass even took notice.

Last week I attended the Formula Expo Launch Event and learned more about an Formula 1 expo planned for June 15-17 in Austin. We'll have more to share on this exciting venture in the coming week. In the meantime you can check out their website here.

Pre-asphalt is being laid down at Circuit of The Americas. Here's a sneak peak:

Pre-asphalt being laid on the incline to Turn 1 at Circuit of The Americas - April 20, 2012// F1 Rumblings

Were you planning to go to New Jersey next year? Some recent comments from Bernie have people checking their calendar - did he say 2014!? Read more here.

Tavo says he's still seeking ownership shares at Circuit of The Americas however McCombs says he's not selling.

Formula GP Experience with Circuit of The Americas and Pirelli TiresCOTA also announced a fun partnership with Pirelli tires, the exclusive tire provider for F1. They will go on a cross-country tour of sorts to share the excitement for our November race and offer exciting fan experience opportunities!

// Other Recent News

Last week we spoke to UT Marketing Students and co-hosted a lively networking event with EuroCircle. What will May bring? Stay tuned for announcements next week.

Austin International Scenes Join Forces

// Overview

Last Thursday we joined forces with EuroCircle, the largest international networking group in Austin, to create a new networking opportunity for Europeans and F1 fans.

The welcoming patio at Paggi HouseKevin and I were first introduced to EuroCircle last August at a downtown happy hour at Hank’s Garage, across the street from the Four Seasons Hotel. We really enjoyed meeting such an outgoing and diverse crowd of people that had so much to share. Since then, I’ve attended more EuroCircle events as they are always at the best downtown locations, such as the W Hotel in Austin and Paggi House-an upscale Austin restaurant with ambient patio space, amazing food and a lively and engaging bar scene.

// French Influence in Austin

Our co-host was Ms. Allison Berguin, a friend that shares a mutual interest in motorsports but is more seasoned in motorcycles than I am (we joke that I am getting my motorcycle license this year; I believe she is holding me to it). I have been learning more about MotoGP from Allison, who is originally from France but has been living in Austin for the past 6 years. She is an avid motorsports enthusiast who was introduced to MotoGP by attending her first race in Indianapolis back in 2010. Since watching my first MotoGP race last year I’ve been working to learn more about the sport and have fun while doing it. Allison has been a great teacher and I know she is really excited about all the motorsports events that are coming to Austin, but we’re both keeping our fingers crossed that the MotoGP contractual issues are resolved with COTA as we will be some of the loudest cheerleaders in Austin for this series!

// Background on EuroCircle

Kaisa Kokkonen, Founder of EuroCircleEuroCircle was founded by Kaisa Kokkonen, a Finnish lawyer who moved to New York in 1992 feeling burnt-out and somewhat bored after a ten-year legal career. When she moved to New York the Internet was still in its infancy. She wanted to create an informal community for European professionals & Europhiles – married or single – and it has now grown to more than 100,000 members. With no political, religious or ethnic affiliations, EuroCircle is a place where you can exchange ideas, tips, professional contacts, make friends and more. You can meet people offline at local events or online through the membership features.

After more than 10 years and thousands of events in hundreds of cities, EuroCircle now welcomes and attracts professionals and expats from all over the globe, from London to Los Angeles or New York to Johannesburg. Learn more about EuroCircle by visiting their website, or searching for Facebook groups specific to your city of interest (e.g. EuroCircle Austin, EuroCircle New York, EuroCircle Barcelona).

// Successful Event

Kaisa enjoyed the event and had this to say:

EuroCircle and the Austin Grand Prix was definitely the right kind of mix...the diverse mix of Europeans, other expats and local F1 fans were busy sharing different ideas in perfect harmony. Allison, Kerri and Kevin were great hosts meeting and introducing everyone around. Icenhauer's as a venue is a bit different that suits well for many Europeans' tastes.  It is slightly more upscale, very modern and simple with great outdoor space both in the back and front of the "cottage" along the trendy Rainey Street.  I am sure this will be on the of many joint events with the Austin Grand Prix and EuroCircle - after all F1 is one of the most watched sports in Europe.

Allison with Marco Simoncelli at MotoGP in Indianapolis 2010. RIP MarcoAllison Berguin added:

The first joint event between EuroCircle Austin and The Austin Grand Prix was a great success. Icenhauer's kindly let us use their space to accommodate over 100 people! The reunion of both groups made a powerful impact on members of each group. EuroCircle brought many Europeans and people with interest in the European culture. The Austin GP brought avid F1 fans and people who want education in regards to this new thrilling sport coming to Austin in November. Conversations were fluid as each person had a story to share and to teach. I am already writing down ideas for our next event! Hurrah!

Thank you to Allison, Kaisa and Icenhauer’s for all of your work in making this a successful one-of-a-kind event in downtown Austin. As Allison said, we are already planning our next event, so sign up for our Newsletter to stay updated.