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Kerri Olsen

AGP Becomes Official Supporter of Meals on Wheels and More

AGP Becomes Official Supporter of Meals on Wheels and More

Today we announced an agreement to be an official supporter of Meals on Wheels and More of Central Texas (MOWAM). This 40-year old Austin non-profit operates about twelve varying service programs, with Meals on Wheels volunteers delivering daily nutritious meals to over 5,000 homebound individuals in Central Texas. MOWAM meal deliveries help elderly and disabled homebound individuals live an independent life while saving an average of $35,510 of state spending by keeping them at home and out of assisted living.

In 2011, MOWAM prepared 967,495 meals, placed 10,274 care calls, made 5,224 trips to the grocery store, made 786 home safety improvements and repairs, and provided 4,458 bags of groceries to those most in need. These services provide thousands of individuals in Central Texas with the support they need to live independently.

As a weekly delivery volunteer since 2007, I'm amazed that in less than the time it takes for a conventional lunch break, we can make a difference in clients’ lives by delivering a hot, nutritional meal and a smile. It really is that easy and fast!

Since 2010, we've been brainstorming ways to partner with MOWAM. We wanted to work with a reputable organization that benefits many Austinites immediately and effectively. When we were honored as #1 in Austin for Social Media by the Austin American-Statesman, we immediately saw a greater need to use our skills for social good. Earlier this year while volunteering, I snapped a photo of my insulated MOWAM delivery bag. I posted the photo to our Instagram account with the tagline: “For every “Like” on this photo by midnight, May 31, 2012, The Austin Grand Prix will donate $1 to Meals on Wheels and More of Central Texas.” The social giving initiative resulted in 14 likes, which doesn’t sound like much, but it is enough to provide 6 meals to those who need it.

On October 1, we shared another MOWAM photo on Instagram but also sent it out to our 7,000+ followers on Twitter. The idea was for AGP to donate $1 for every Retweet of the message or “Like” on the Instagram photo, up to $100. Within 24 hours the message had been Retweeted 150 times. To date, the message has been shared 300 times and been “Favorited” by 7 followers. On Monday, we donated the $100 check to MOWAM.

We will continue to lead social media giving initiatives for MOWAM that make it easy for members of the motorsports community to donate with the click of a button. Thad Rosenfeld, Director of Communications for MOWAM, had this to say:

Meals on Wheels and More is excited to be associated with The Austin Grand Prix, a locally owned and operated business that truly cares about the Central Texas community it serves.

// Please click here to learn how you can volunteer with MOWAM. If you have any creative giving suggestions, send us a message

MOWAM donation 2.jpg

Thad Rosenfeld, Director of Communications for Meals on Wheels and More, accepts a donation from Kerri Olsen on behalf of The Austin Grand Prix

Fan Feature: 10 Important Numbers in F1

The following is a special feature from Austin F1 fan, Kerri Olsen. In addition to being the Co-Founder of this site,, Kerri is also an F1 Fan. Here, she shares how she has gotten "up to speed."

Ferrari's "Formula 1 Alphabet" is a great resource for new F1 pupils or those who want to brush up on their lingo. We'll share our own version next month. I thought of a quick 10 facts that new F1 fans need to know:

// 1

P1: this is the lead position to start the race from. In race qualifying on the Saturday of a grand prix weekend, the driver that sets the best time is qualified to start in 1st position - or P1 - on race day. 

// 2

2 Winners: Each F1 season, there are actually two World Champions determined: a Constructor (the team) and a Driver. Constructors and Drivers each receive points based on their finishing of each race. There are also two drivers per team, which affect the point accrual based on race finishes.

// 3

3-Day Weekend: Grand Prix weekend typically runs three days, Friday through Sunday, with practice sessions on Friday and Saturday, qualifying also on Saturday, and the Grand Prix race on Sunday. The exception is Monaco, where practice runs on Thursday in lieu of Friday, for a "day of rest."

// 4

4 tyres per car: Tyres is the British spelling and since this sport originated in Europe, I will refer to them as tyres. Tyre strategy is a topic we will examine more in the future.

// 5

5 G's: F1 cars race on track with many turns. In these turns, they can exceed 5 g-forces of "lateral acceleration" (horizontal force) through the corners. By comparison, an astronaut being launched into space experiences about 3 g-forces.

// 6

6 continents: The F1 race series travels to six continents.

// 7

7 time World-Champion Michael Schumacher: It's the most identified racing driver that we have come across when speaking with Americans about Formula 1. And, Ladies and Gentlemen, he will be behind the wheel of a Mercedes AMG Petronas car come November.

// 8

8 cylinders: The cars are powered by V8 engines, similar to a Corvette. Due to the evolving rules, or "Formula" that the sport must adhere to each season, engines have included types from V12 to I-4, and more, over the past 60 years.

// 9

9 months: typical F1 season runs from March through November.

// 10

10 finishers get points: points are awarded to drivers and teams exclusively on where they finish in a race. The winner receives 25 points, the second place finisher 18 points, with 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 and 1 points for positions 3 through 10.

// Contest Winner

Congratulations to Dale Daugherty! His F1 tip was chosen by Jenny Tynes as the best one last week and he will receive an Alexander Rossi autographed COME AND RACE IT sticker! Dale offers this suggestion for Austin visitors:

Be sure to take advantage of pedicabs in downtown Austin. They are everywhere, and it is a great way to get around the city. Trust me, you are going to appreciate this when you are cruising the late night 6th Street scene!

Click here for Ground Transportation information in Austin.

// Contest Alert

Leave us your helpful F1 tip in the comments of this article in order to be entered into our contest. Dale will choose another winning F1 tip and you will receive a COME AND RACE IT sticker autographed by Alexander Rossi!

Contest closes at 12:00PM (Noon) CDT on Thursday, August 30, 2012. Winner will be announced in the August 31, 2012 edition of "Fan Feature" here on this website.

Message if you have questions.

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.

Guest Lecture at The University of Texas at Austin

Last week I had the pleasure to speak to two of Professor Herb Miller's undergraduate marketing classes at The University of Texas at Austin ("UT").

I started off by asking the students who in the lecture hall was already familiar with Formula 1™ and was pleasantly surprised with about 30-40% of the class raising their hands. I went on to discuss a brief history of the sport and share some heart-pounding sounds and sights of F1. They were early classes so if the students had missed out on their morning coffee, that surely awoke their senses. I then spoke about what The Austin Grand Prix was doing for Austinites and international motorsport fans, and how we've used social media to grow our business.

Professor Miller added:

I have become a Formula One  fan over the last year and a half and I wanted to expose my students to a sport that is the most watched sport in the world. I also wanted UT students (10% of which are international students and are more aware of F1 Racing), to see the value of using ‘social media’ to market and expose the world to this exciting sport and the upcoming November 2012 Austin Formula One Race. I constantly tell my students that marketing is key to the success of any venture or idea and The Austin Grand is using a very popular medium to market and expose the sport to Austin and the world community.

It was great to connect with so many students and spread awareness within the collegiate community. The Formula 1excitement continues to grow in Austin!

Happy Holidays from The Austin Grand Prix

"Football? Football? What's a football?" Ralphie visits Santa in the holiday classic, A Christmas Story

 I'll never forget those first words I heard about the announcment of Formula 1 returning to the U.S. via Austin, Texas.

Each moment I have experienced this past year has been a real treat; from a fan's point of view, I never could have dreamed to be living in the host city for a racing facility that would welcome Formula 1 back to the U.S.

My sister, Kerri, and our editors, Mike and Andrew, have enjoyed connecting with y'all over our love of motorsports and Austin, Texas. We look forward to continuing down this path towards our November 2012 F1 race date and will have more exciting treats to share with you soon.

Thank you, to each of you, for your support over the past year!

Best wishes to everyone this holiday season! Enjoy this great song, "Christmas in Austin," by Shelley King as she shows you how we like to celebrate Christmas in Austin!

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!