Viewing entries tagged
Julie Loignon

Final Paving Process Begins At COTA



// Echelon Paving

The final paving process is now underway at Circuit of The Americas. As explained in the video above, there are two integral layers of asphalt to be set into place before the FIA Inspection on September 25. 

The first layer of asphalt, known as the base course, has been installed sporadically (yet intentionally) around the track over the past several months. Between Turns 1 and 11, the track is restricted so that crews can prepare the surface to receive its second layer. Just last week, the final section of the base course was set between turns 20 and 1 in a "marriage ceremony," where the existing asphalt at Turn 1 was merged with the new layer.  Following this milestone, the paving process will become more difficult and complex in order to achieve the strict Grade 1 FIA specifications.

// Click on the photos above to see the full image gallery


In collaboration with Tilke GmbH, Austin Commercial will orchestrate this process, known as "echelon paving," with three to four machines running simultaneously.  Each layer will require 7-12 days to complete and take around 60 workers, or almost 10% percent of the onsite crew. The echelon technique ensures a seamless track, free of any distortions and a perfect surface that will help Formula 1 and other racing series drive safely and achieve top performance.

Inspection of the track is scheduled for September 25, when FIA Safety Delgate and Race Director Charlie Whiting will return to Austin for a closer look at the surface and various safety components. According to Juilie Loignon, COTA Vice President of Public and Community Relations, all preparations are underway to ensure the circuit meets the intense specifications to host the Formula 1 race in November.

 

Need seats at Circuit of The Americas? Buy your USGP tickets from TicketCity.

Austin Officials On The Ground for British GP

 

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell, City Manager Marc Ott and Police Chief Art Acevedo are just some of the Texans at Silverstone this weekend for the British Grand Prix. Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr had to cancel her trip due to fire danger in Central Texas with our lack of rain and 100' F+ temperatures (typical Texas summer).

The purpose of this trip is for city officials to start to understand the magnitude of a Formula 1 weekend in person. As the Statesman reported last week, representatives at Silverstone will meet with their Austin counterparts in the track's nearby county of Northamptonshire. "Silverstone is similar to the F1 track near Elroy, as both are permanent tracks in somewhat rural areas," said COTA spokeswoman Julie Loignon.

Before he boarded his flight, here is what Chief Acevedo had to say:

On my way to ABIA for London fact finding mission. Look forward to the learning, and hope to bring back some solid lessons learned.

Austin's YNN reporters Russell Wilde and Jeff Stensland are also in England, and took some time to speak with Chief Acevedo after his first day at Silverstone.  The 24-hour news channel is the only local Austin news crew in attendance this weekend, gaining valuable first-hand knowledge to share with Austin upon their return. Chief Acevedo shared his thoughts with YNN about the scale of the event:

You can't truly appreciate or grasp the complexity and the monstrosity that this event is going to be for Austin. It's going to be something we've never experienced.

Kudos to Police Chief Art Acevedo who is tweeting up a storm! Pun intended, as Silverstone is getting dumped on by non-stop rain which greatly affected this morning's practice 3 and qualifying sessions. Hey gang - bring back some rain for us, deal?

From his Twitter account, Chief Acevedo is giving his followers a feel for what is to be expected during an F1 weekend. Check out these highlights in conjunction with his photos above.

// Friday

F-1 traffic is really bad. Today venue only has practice races and the roads in the area are dead stopped. Contra flow will be used in ATX.

Police operations are up and running.

Lot of folks are bringing camper trailers out here in the Silverstone Area.

Lots of rain in Great Britain. Flood warnings issues throughout the county.

My thanks go out to the British Government for their assistance with logistics today.

Just finished nearly 30 hour work day. Getting a bite to eat and get some down time. Good first day discussions with British Officials.

// Saturday

On the road for day two of fact finding mission. Forecast calls for more rain. Slept like a log.

Traffic challenges have been a huge eye opener.

Traffic nightmare started early today. Contra flow is being used tomorrow. Flexibility of operation will be critical.

Traffic lines start early and last all day.

F1 traffic backed up early on qualifying day. No Law Enforcement in sight along traffic route. 80,000 folks expected.

Significant number of attendees are using bicycles as mode of transportation.

F1 traffic on way in to venue is one lane most of the way in. Lots of folks in foot. Extensive use of double decker buses in/around venue.

Inside F1 venue at Silverstone. Cool day with heavy menacing cloud cover.

Double decker buses at F1 being used extensively. (See photo above)

Mobile police and EMS command posts on site.

EMS First Aid station. (See photo above)

Steady flow of helicopters constantly shuttling folks in. With close vicinity of ABIA ATC should plan on extra staff.

Heavy rain on and off here wrecking havoc.

Made it to the event site this morning. Sorry couldn't tweet with the heavy rain and large crowds cell coverage poor.

Mobile police station inside venue. Public safety highly visible presence.

Mobile first aid station inside. Significant EMS presence throughout venue. Hundreds of medical incidents during event.

Received a lot of good information from local officers. Rain related frustration at camp sites were problematic.

Mobile field hospital inside venue. Receives extensive briefing. Issues range from headaches to cardiac arrest.

Plenty of EMS coverage as [seen] below. (See photo above)

[Medical] evacuation copter on site at all times. ATX will have contact with Star Flight.

Inside Command post. We will have EOC at CTECC, DOC at APD and CP at Formula 1 activated.

We can't go on without fuel. Local cod fish and chips. Pretty good stuff. Wish my 4 year old was here to eat my peas! (See photo above)

Overall very good information gathered today. The interaction with local public safety personnel was very informative.

We have meetings set up with local government officials tomorrow. Looking forward to coming home. Missing ATX!

Great to travel with a Mayor and CM who ask questions that are relevant and on point. Observations lead to talk about application to ATX.

security appears to be tight and effective.

Rain has finally taken a time out after heavy down pours.

Interesting to see 43,000 folks camping at sites around F1 venue. ATX will not offer option at site this year but will as early as 2013.

// TV Coverage

Just a reminder that the British Grand Prix will be broadcast at 11AM Central on your local FOX channel tomorrow. The pre-race and post-race show will be on SPEED channel. Enjoy the race!

"COTA Has Character" Claims Australian V8 Supercars' Winterbottom

Circuit of The Americas is proving their open arms mentality; in August 2011 we saw David Coulthard pilot the Red Bull Racing Showcar on a gravel track, in April of this year Alexis DeJoria took a Toyota Tundra on the pre-asphalt terrain. Earlier this month the newly-announced COTA Ambassador Mario Andretti showed us what a Cadillac Escalade was capable of on the newly-laid asphalt. Today, we got to see what a good 'ol American muscle car could stir up as COTA welcomed the fourth driver to test out the track, Australian V8 Supercars Driver Mark Winterbottom.

V8 Supercars is an Australian-based race series; one of the world's largest and best known touring car categories because it is recognized internationally as a leader in motorsport and entertainment. Mark is in the US as part of a media tour promoting his involvement with the Disney-PIXAR movie Cars 2, whereby he "plays" the character "Frosty" in the Australian version of the film. Before the end of the month, Mark will fly back to California for the opening of "Cars Land" at Disneyland.

While in Austin, he did a great job at hitting up many popular and uniquely Austin attractions - getting a pair of cowboy boots, enjoying great B-B-Q at Stubb's, visiting Jesse James at his Austin Speed Shop and enjoying an antelope burger at Elroy's Wild Bubba's Wild Game Grill (right next to the circuit). Mark had this to say about Austin:

Austin has a really cool vibe. There’s lots to see and do, and I think international visitors will find the city very sophisticated, yet laid back and welcoming. It’s a great destination for motorsports enthusiasts and their families because there’s something for everyone in terms of good food, great shopping, exceptional music and entertainment, loads of parks and recreational activities, and, of course, a purpose-built Grand Prix circuit that will host some of the best auto racing in the world!

But what about the circuit? He drove a Ford Mustang GT through the back portion of the racecourse, from Turns 5-12 and also had the opportunity to preview the rest of it. Like many, he was amazed at the 130' elevation spike going up Turn 1, but he was equally impressed with the changes in height throughout the circuit, adding the numerous turns would make for great driving. He added:

The circuit’s topography, including the dramatic changes in elevation, will make for some really fun racing and a great show for fans. While I didn’t get to drive the full circuit, the sequence of turns I did sample were fantastic, and I can’t wait to come back and take a lap around the finished racecourse. Circuit of The Americas will be a welcome addition to our future V8 Supercar line-up!

 Check it out for yourself in this video clip:

Mark Winterbottom Drives COTA from The Austin Grand Prix on Vimeo.

 

Now the question remains, when will we see the V8SC here in Austin? Stay tuned for the 2013 race calendar details to be announced.

// V8 Supercars Facts

  • The V8 Supercar Championship ("V8 Supercars" or "V8SC") is an Australian-based touring car championship
  • 15 annual events across Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East, and they raced at the 2012 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix as a support series during the F1 race weekend
  • The world's leading Touring Car Championship recognized by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile ("FIA")
  • All V8 Supercars run on 85% CSR Ethanol, a renewable fuel made from the bi-product of the sugar refining process
  • 2011 race attendance: 1,750,000
  • 2011 TV race viewership: 17,500,000
  • 130 countries telecast V8 Supercars live (as live or on delay, depending on time zone and programming)
  • Estimated annual sponsorship portfolio in excess of $150,000,000