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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 Amaz1n.tv 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, www.TheAustinGrandPrix.com, 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: https://mowam.secure.force.com/donate/F1Helps.

Indian GP Preview: But It’s Just Not Cricket...

 

Fast developing countries need exciting and motivational events to raise their profiles and change outside perceptions. By tradition, India has always been a nation of tremendous contrast. Extreme wealth, once the preserve of the Maharajahs but now belonging to both commercial and industrial barons, stands starkly against a backdrop of abysmal poverty and it is this inherent imbalance that has created something of a moral dilemma. Yet, F1 is in India and it is heralded as a vital element of its modern infrastructure.

Race Review: Japanese Grand Prix

 Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi takes his first podium at the Suzuka Circuit (Sauber Motorsport AG)

Quick, blink your eyes. Now, blink again. That's essentially how fast the fortunes have changed in favor for Vettel since Belgian GP. Other than the untimely retirement at Italian GP, Vettel has been superbly fast in his Red Bull, so fast that Vettel is now 4 points behind Alonso after the Japanese GP. Alonso should be plenty weary as he watches his massive points lead fade away.

Race Review: German Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso came in first while Sebastian Vettel took second position (though Seb was penalized for his overtake on Jenson Butto - Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Nothing throws a wrench into Race day grid positions like a bit of rain on Qualifying day. That is precisely what we had at the German Grand Prix this weekend. Some teams were prepared (or lucky) while others were slightly doomed (or not prepared). Alonso, the front-runner of the championship after British Grand Prix, was certainly prepared with a wet setup and capture Pole position. Not so lucky was Massa, Rosberg and Grosjean, none of them made Q3 Top-10 shootout.

To keep things interesting, Hokkenheim gave the German Grand Prix a sunny and dry race day. Alonso was on pole, followed by Vettel and Schumacher. With 4 wins in the pocket and a 3rd place on the grid, I had high hopes for Schumacher. However, ultimately it was just not meant to be. Schumacher ended the race at 7th.

Taking full advantage of the pole position, however, is Alonso. Alonso blew away the competition, surged ahead and never looked back from the moment the race started. Alonso seems to be ready for any challenge and made his strategy stick in recent races. Even in a seemingly less competitive car, Alonso has driven the wheels off of the Ferrari and took the top spot on the podium for the German Grand Prix. This is the 3rd win for Alonso at the Hokkenheim track. I think he may have shed some joyous tears on the podium. In my pre-race post, I've mentioned that the odds are in Schumacher, Alonso and Hamilton's favor at this Grand Prix, I'm mildly excited that my guesses are getting more accurate in this unpredictable season.

Hoping for a comeback from a disappointing finish last week, Hamilton started on 7th and ended up retiring at Lap 58 due to lack of pace and a puncture. With a bit of reversed fortune, Button did very well in the race, going from 6th to 3rd by lap 12 and just kept pushing up front. It certainly helped that McLaren has dramatically improved their pit stop time, with one of Button's stop taking a fleeting 2.31 seconds, fastest ever in the records. All these with some good driving nudged Button to 2nd near closing stage of the race. That was until Button started losing tyres performance. Vettel saw the weakness and decided to be naughty (and play innocent), attempted to pass Button on Lap 66, went wide AND off the track that give him some grip to slip in front of Button to take 2nd place on the podium.

Even though Vettel was on podium for 2nd, the stewards investigate the overtaking move and decided to give him a 20-second penalty which dropped him to Fifth. Quite the misfortune for Vettel at the home race. As a result, Button is 2nd, with Raikkonen taking 3rd in the 67-lap race. Button must be absolutely thrilled to be back on the podium after a drought of wins.

Honorable mentions of the Hokkenheim race are Kobayashi, who went up 7 spots with a 2-stop strategy to end the race in 5th, and Perez, went up a whopping 11 spots to 6th place. Both of these drivers are not always the front-runners, but are always driving their heart out with their cars, great pleasure to watch and definitely adds to the entertaining factor of the race to see them dual!

Grid girls, what's going on with the outfits? Is it because we're still in Europe that the last few races your outfit has not changed? It's still a red dress with a white bow-knot in the front and red heels. I was hoping that there'd be some new outfits, but alas. And who wins the Post-race Best hair award? That prize goes to none other than Button, who kept his cool on the podium with cool head and hair while waiting for the stewards to decide Vettel's illegal overtaking move.

That's all for the German Grand Prix! Can't wait for the Hungarian Grand Prix to come around July 27-29! Catch you then!

Race Preview: German Grand Prix

// This weekend we head to the famed Hockenheimring in the rural countryside of Germany. Here's a 3D Track Experience video from Pirelli.

Can you believe it's already the 10th race of the 2012 season? We're halfway through it, yet the season has been so action-packed that it's almost too good to be true. Continuing on with the European leg of the Grand Prix, this weekend the race will be at Hockenheim, Germany.

Mid-season is also the time when we have what I'd like to call the "Musical chair" part of the season. Top drivers talk to other top teams to explore options for next season and beyond. Hamilton is thought to have had talks with Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes. Massa may depart Ferrari, Vettel was speculated to perhaps give Ferrari a try, and Webber was also rumored last week to want to leave Red Bull, meanwhile closing the deal with Red Bull this week. Maybe all the drivers should have 1-year contract only, that'll keep the "Musical chair" rumor mill going for the summer.

The front runner to win at Hockenheim this weekend, based purely on historical statistics, is Schumacher who has won four times at this track. Pretty impressive achievement! However, not to be outdone, Alonso and Hamilton have both won twice at this track before. I'm still holding out some hope for Iceman to win a Grand Prix and actually smile, we will have to wait and see how the race will go down this weekend. Can’t wait! Catch you again next week after the German Grand Prix!