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Susan Combs

Texas Dignitaries and FIA President to Present USGP Trophies


The podium at the 2012 USGP in Austin, TX

The 2012 Formula One United States Grand Prix winners' trophies will be presented by the following Austin and Texas dignitaries and FIA President:

The Winning Driver's trophy will be presented by Rick Perry, the Governor of the State of Texas.

The Winning Constructor's trophy will be presented by Susan Combs, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

The Second Place Driver will receive his trophy from David Dewhurst, Lieutenant Governor of the State of Texas.

Third Place Driver will receive his trophy from Nick Craw, President, ACCUS and FIA Senate President.


The Trophy presenters of the 2012 USGP (L-R): Rick Perry, Susan Combs, David Dewhurst and Nick Craw


Call To Action: Supporting Austin, Texas and COTA

Recent news from the Statesman, who was able to report from Tuesday's City of Austin closed doors meeting, has shown that there is a much more complicated relationship between the City of Austin, State of Texas and the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) [article here]. 

We are avid motorsports enthusiasts and supporters of the track and related development; we applaud our friends at the Statesman for diving into the details, breaking down the information and then sharing it with the public to make sure everyone is up to speed with these intricate proceedings.

We promote a sustainable relationship with all parties.  We hope that citizens of all interests can attend today's 10:00 AM CST meeting, listen to the facts, and pass on their opinions to the Austin City Council in the Open Forum.

Our goal here at The Austin Grand Prix has always been to bridge the gap between Austin and the world-wide audience of Formula 1.  While we expect today's meeting to be positive, we encourage you to email, watch, attend and participate in the American democratic process.

If you're unable to attend, just be sure to check out this article on how to reach the city council, and send them an email with your thoughts.  The more personal and thoughtful, the better!  As always, check out the live stream of the meeting as well.

We will not be able to attend or watch today's Open Forum as we are headed to Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix, but we'll be there in spirit and hope that you can fill the void for us and share your thoughts.


The Austin Grand Prix


United States Grand Prix - Press Conference

Wow, what a day!

Yesterday I spoke with helpful representatives at Austin City Hall and discovered that the official United States Formula 1 press conference was being held this morning and organized by the Mayor's office.  I planned on stopping by City Hall this morning with hopes of running into anyone that would chat with me about the major announcement. But things took a slightly different turn after speaking with Matt from the Mayor's office, who told me the meeting was being held at the AT&T Executive Conference Center on UT campus.  We still had a solid ten minute chat and I got to hear more about their involvement with the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix.  It was awesome getting Matt's perspective and I'm grateful he took some time out to chat with me - thanks Matt!

I quickly made it back to the campus area and walked in and found the conference after it just completed and got a chance to rub shoulders with some of the key players in the event.  I spoke with some media and news people as well as the PR director for Full Throttle Productions, LP and even Tavo's Mother and Sister-in-law, wow, what a small world!

After talking and spreading the word about The Austin Grand Prix website and our fan base, I got a chance to get a photo with Susan Combs as she was leaving and gave her a COME AND RACE IT t-shirt.  (She absolutely loved it btw!)  We also got to chat for a few minutes about her recent trip overseas to attend Silverstone GP; she was still giddy with excitement from the race and I could tell she genuinely enjoyed the entire experience - she couldn't stop praising it!

Texas State Comptroller Susan Combs with Co-Founder Kevin Olsen

It did help a little bit to have the COME AND RACE IT shirt on, everyone wanted to know what it was all about and where to get one.  I gave two shirts (for Red and Tavo) to their PR director who promised to personally hand it to them, I was quite excited about that, thanks Ali!

I waited around until after they finished lunch and finally got a chance to chat with Tavo.  He spent some of his very limited and important time chatting about the track and the organization of the event.  He is a really, really cool guy and has a great vision for the event.  I feel very comfortable about how things are going to turn out now that I got a chance to chat with him. Furthemore, he wants to get connected with us to get more fans involved and work together in some way, so I am hopeful that this will continue to develop and give us a chance to meet and discuss things, hopefully soon.

F1 United States Founder Tavo Hellmund with Kevin Olsen

While being surrounded by the key players in this event, I got the impression that everyone has the right perspective and a level head about the event and it's importance to Austin.  I didn't feel unwelcome or out of place, it was quite the opposite in fact.  I was afraid that I would be shrugged off since I wasn't a prominent media icon, but I felt right at home with this group and enjoyed talking with everyone there.  I was expecting to have a hard time getting people to talk to me and felt that there would be some Big City or Deep Pockets arrogance, but this is Texas! Everyone I talked to, Tavo, Susan and many others, all were happy to take time to talk with me and answer my questions.

From my point of view, this is exactly the right team of people to make the US Grand Prix what we have been dreaming about.  I am very confident this is going to change Austin in the right way and continue to be a good thing for the city as well as the rest of the country.

Thanks to everyone I talked to for your time, I had an amazing day today!

See more photos in the Gallery

Kevin Olsen

Susan Combs Visits Silverstone On Her Own Dime

We've got some very interesting news from the Austin American Statesman about Susan Comb's recent visit to Silverstone, the British Grand Prix:

It turns out that Susan and her husband Joe spent their own money to travel to the grand prix and meet with Bernie Ecclestone and Tavo Hellmund.  Susan even joked a bit about spending 300,000 frequent flyer miles to get there, but it looks like the trip was worth it.  This news wasn't a big surprise to us, but we are feeling very relieved that this fact was made public and even more excited about her enthusiasm and interest in the sport.

Furthermore, Susan's husband Joe is a computer scientist who used to race a while ago.  The article points out that he was also just as excited to be there, another good sign.

One of the most interesting aspects of the article is this point Susan made about the track, "It's huge. It's spacious, and it's green...This is not a concrete jungle. It is very respectful of the terrain."  Hopefully we'll see the same kind of track here in Austin, one that is respectful of the environment, well designed into the landscape and a pleasure to visit.

Read more about Susan's visit to Silverstone at the Austin American Statesman.



Tavo and Susan Combs at Silverstone

We were expecting this to come out soon and are glad to announce that Tavo Hellmund and Susan Combs, the Texas State Comptroller, met with Bernie Ecclestone at the British Grand Prix this past weekend.

Autoweek released an article about the meeting and Susan's first Grand Prix experience.  We really enjoyed this comment by Combs:

"It's very, very exciting...It has lots of technology, which I found particularly interesting, and it's a real crowd-pleaser, a real show. We're now more excited. With the incredible impact that this has on England, we hope to have a similar impact on the United States.”

Susan seems to be quite enthusiastic about the race and said the support from Texas Special Events Fund is a "done deal."  Read more at Autoweek in Austin Formula One Race A Done Deal.


Austin Chronicle Special on Formula 1

We're very excited to see the Austin Chronicle post an article regarding Formula 1, including some more about the history of Tavo and the early stages of develoment of the track.

Written by Richard Whittaker, the article highlights Tavo's plans originating several years back and his viewpoint on Austin's future with the track.  The points are positive and well composed, turning the lights back on the importance of bringing an important icon into Austin.

Check out the article here at the Austin Chronicle and post your thoughts in the comments section.  We would love to hear more about what you think about the article and some more questions you may have!