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Formula Expo

Godstone Ranch Motorsports at Formula Expo

One of the most impressive displays at Formula Expo was by Godstone Ranch Motorsports, a Texas-based non-profit organization that races the GRAND-AM circuit to raise awareness and funds for charity. They created a 60' by 8' light wall that illuminated a larger-than-life rendering of Circuit of The Americas. In front of the wall sat a Formula 1 Ferrari provided by Risi Competizione/Ferrari of Houston and Godstone also debuted their "HEART Car" in conjunction with its charitable focus, the American Heart Association of Austin.

In this interview, I chatted with team drivers Davy Jones, Le Mans Champion and Rolex 24 at Daytona Champion, and John McCutchen II, 2009 SCCA Southwest Super Touring Champion, in order to learn more about the series and how it ties into the future of motorsports in Austin. You can read more about Godstone's work by visiting their website, here.

Blast From The Past at Formula Expo

Bud Moeller with Historic Grand Prix at Formula Expo from The Austin Grand Prix on Vimeo.

Learn more about the Historic Grand Prix, "The World's Fastest Museum," with F1 Pilot Bud Moeller.

The goal of the Historic Grand Prix is to preserve motorsports history while showcasing the 3.0 litre era of F1 during 1966-1983. HGP had an amazing collection of Formula 1 cars at Formula Expo in Austin, Texas. What was most interesting to me is that the owners of these rolling artifacts get to personally race them, sometimes competing against former racers!

Some of the handsome cars on display included a Lotus 79 once driven by Mario Andretti, Ferrari 312-T5 driven by Gilles Villenevue, McLaren M-30 driven by Alain Prost and March 821 driven by Jochen Mass. You can see more in our Formula Expo Picture Gallery.

Check Historic Grand Prix's schedule to see if they are coming to a track near you. They will be at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut over Labor Day weekend and at Watkins Glen the following weekend. Hopefully we will see them bring history alive at Circuit of The Americas in the near future.

Sutton Images at Formula Expo

Sutton Images at Formula Expo from The Austin Grand Prix on Vimeo.


It was such a treat to interview Keith and Mark Sutton at Formula Expo. This team of British brothers run Sutton Images, the world's largest indepentent motorsports picture agency.

As mentioned in the interview, GP Week is a free online magazine that is published every Monday morning. You can sign up for email alerts for the latest issue and review F1, MotoGP and World Rally Championship news, results and features accompanied by the best photos from Sutton Images.

Be sure to check out the Sutton Images exhibit of dozens of photos at this weekend's Formula Expo!

Austin's Inaugural Formula Expo is This Weekend

Ian Weightman of Formula Expo from The Austin Grand Prix on Vimeo.

// Overview

Formula Expo is a new event, envisioned by longtime racing fan and Austin resident, Ian Weightman. Ian's dream was to bring multiple elements of Formula 1 to Austin and allow residents to learn more about the sport, hands on. In conjunction with Circuit of The Americas, Formula Expo is taking place in downtown Austin this weekend at the Austin Convention Center. The expo hall has been transformed and will consist of various interactive areas, or zones.

// Zones

Formula Expo Race Zone - Formula 1 cars on display from Ferrari, Red Bull Racing, Williams F1 and Lotus F1.

Fun Zone - 8 interactive simulators to hold hourly competitions with the winners being awarded trophies on the podium; Pit-Stop Challenge whereby participants experience what it's like to be part of an F1 team pit-crew; photo opportunities in an F1 racing suit and while seated in an F1 show car; test your reflexes and peripheral vision against stats set by F1 World Champions using the reflex trainer.

History Zone - showcasing the evolution of cars, technology and safety; seven F1 cars on display from the Historic Grand Prix; Texas All British Car Days and International Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen, New York. Travel through time by enjoying decades of F1 images from Sutton Images.

Technology Zone - learn what makes the formula of Formula 1 racing, including the key technologies KERS (kinetic energy recovery systems), DRS (drag reduction system), the green technology of the sport and more.

COTA Zone - Get an update on progress and see the latest renderings; opportunities to discuss ticket options with representatives; learn more about the Pirelli GP Challenge

Expo Stage - Interviews and talks from faces of F1 (names TBA); live music with performances by the inaugural Band of The Year contestants.

Exotic Car & Motorsports Zone - Showcasing manufacturers including Lotus, Ferrari, McLaren Automotive and Lamborghini.

F1 Sports Bar & Restaurant Zones - F1-themed sports bar with fare from Austin area restaurants.

Austin Zone - exhibits from local Austin businesses and organizations including Austin Music Commission, Austin Technology Council, Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, Austin Economic Development Office and a number of local artists.

// Details

What: Formula Expo

When: Saturday, June 16 from 9AM-7PM and Sunday, June 17 (Father's Day) from 9:00AM to 6:00PM

Where: Southwest corner of the Austin Convention Center in Halls 1, 2 and 3. 500 East Cesar Chavez St., Austin, Texas 78701. 512-476-5461.

Admission: $15 for online tickets; $50 for a family 4-pack; $20 at the door. Click here to purchase tickets directly or here to purchase discounted tickets.

Parking: Ample parking in the surrounding Austin Convention Center parking garages. The closest is the 2nd Street Garage. Click here for complete directions, maps and parking.

Beneficiaries: A portion of the ticket sales will go to The Seton Fund to benefit patients at Seton Community Health Centers.

// On-Going Coverage

We spoke to many of the participants today and will continue to share content. So if you can't make it to Austin, keep visiting this site throughout the weekend!

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."