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Old 11-19-2012, 05:17 AM   #1576
jersey jim
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Those three on the podium wearing cowboy hats....priceless.
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:39 AM   #1577
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I made it all three days. Traffic was only bad on sunday, but still made it from house to seats in turn 12 in an hour and a half. All 3 days you couldn't even tell a race was going on judging by traffic on the north side of town. I was parked at the expo center and got good parking on the GS, was able to duck out the bus entrance on friday and missed a long wait.

Kind of strange the way sound travels, we couldn't hear the longhorn band playing on the front straight, and there wasn't much noise that made it past the track.

Turn 12 was where I was at and it had most of the action. Vettel just didn't have the pace of the mcclaren, but he was able to stay close in the final laps. Alonso had his usual brilliant start and webber had red bulls 3rd alternator failure this year. Schumi started 5th but steadily fell back. Button got 50 laps on his tires and clawed up the field.

I didn't get a chance to tour the whole facility, it was 3/4 of a mile walk from the bus dropoff so I had my walking. Lots of pricey stadium food that sold out saturday long lines, $8 beer, but the silver lining was being able to buy beer before noon on sunday, a stella artois certainly aided my breakfast digestion.


The ferrari on the right tried to dive inside the second one and ended up taking both out. First practice session




They are saying 117k on sunday, up from 65k friday and 82k on saturday. The bleachers were full and well behaved with lots of foreign country flags being shown and worn. Quite a backup leaving sunday, took about an hour to board the bus even after waiting an hour after the race finished. Had a loyal band of sergio groupies, every time the line moved flags and various noise makers along with an accompanying chant; "sergio, sergio, sergio!"

Overall it was a great effort, my only complaint would be the long hike to and from the buses at the track, seem like they could get a bit closer than that. I would like to see more vendors too, generally lines were 20 or more people deep.

They were selling a bunch of team merchandise, but come on, $70 for a t-shirt?

Bought a canon S110 just for the race only to have the memory card go fubar with all of saturday and sundays pics gone.



Line leaving saturday

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Old 11-19-2012, 07:24 AM   #1578
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Any word on what the driver's thought of the track?

Did they like it, hate it?

Not talking about tires, just the track lay-out?
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:27 AM   #1579
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Any word on what the driver's thought of the track?

Did they like it, hate it?

Not talking about tires, just the track lay-out?
all the drivers quotes said they liked it a lot.
so.. they may be "PC" or they may be genuine.

on an unrelated note: Kubica doing well in world rally!
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:13 AM   #1580
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:09 AM   #1581
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It's pretty hard to find much to fault with the race weekend. Getting that number of people in and out of the track is never going to be fast, but for the most part things always seemed to be moving, even the massive lineup for the shuttles after the race. We left our seats at Turn 6 right after the podium ceremony, and didn't get to my car in the parking garage next to the 15th and Trinity downtown shuttle spot until 3.5 hours later. At least an hour of that was simply getting from out seats to the line for the shuttle, which was another 1.5 hour wait.

It does seem as though the shuttle dropoff at the track could have been closer to the main entrance, but based on the exodus at the end of the race perhaps the long walk just helps to spread everyone out a bit instead of having them bottleneck right outside the main entrance.

I thought the most frustrating part was getting to my seats, which were on the backside of the track, and took an hour to get to once we hit the main entrance. I would like to see some sort of a trolley system or something that circles the perimeter with stops at every 2-3 corners. This get everyone a lot closer to their seats without them having to plow through the middle and across the two bridges.

They need a LOT more vendors, and they need to have some people who know what they're doing handling the food and drink stuff. For the most part it seemed to be stoned kids who operated in slow motion and couldn't do basic math. The guy at the Gyro stand fancied himself some of artist and what should have taken ten seconds turned into painful minutes of him contemplating each Gyro like he'd given birth to it. It was maddening to wait in line for water, only to find out from the kid at the stand that they haven't had any beverages all day, but they didn't feel the need to put up a sign or cover the water on the menu sign. Yes, I'm pretty sure I've turned into an old prick at 46!

They definitely got the bathroom thing right! Anywhere on the track you were within 20 yards of a bathroom, and rarely was there a line to get into one.


My g/f and I stayed at a great B&B in Burton, a little more than an hour from downtown Austin, at a bargain $160/night. It was right next door to an excellent french country restaurant called the "Brazos Belle", where we had a fantastic dinner Saturday night. It made the ride in a little longer, but paying $600-700 a night for a shitty room with a 3 night minimum in Austin was just more than I could stomach. I'd do it in a heartbeat for the Four Seasons or W, but not for Motel 6.

The large corner marker signs were a silly example of fashion over form, and you had to often walk around these massive signs with massive lettering to know which corner they indicated, as the lettering overlapped the adjacent surfaces of the square signs.


Next year I'll plan better and make sure I have a parking pass, and probably shoot for seats on the front side by the main entrance. The people I know who had parking passes and stayed in San Marcos seemed to have the best experience getting in and out of there, so I'll probably try that for Moto GP.

As for the circuit and the race itself, I don't know if they could possibly improve upon the weekend. The drivers legitimately seemed to love the track and the entire experience. Considering how much skepticism there was, even six months ago, that this would ever happen, I think they hit a massive home run in Austin.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:29 AM   #1582
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Kimi had 500 of these made for his team.

Reminded me of this:
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:44 AM   #1583
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Man, after all the negativity, it's just great to hear such enthusiasm about an F1 event in the United States!

I'm floored about how good the track looks on TV, and how good the sightlines seem to be from the stands. It's a hilly track and yet spectators seem to have extensive views. This really feels like a precedent-setting design and venue. How amazing is it that it's in the US, the place everyone says doesn't care about F1? Just fantastic.

I don't really understand the tower thing, but heard the commentators mention that other F1 venues want one too. Something about concerts?

I've read a lot of United Statesians complain about the track name. But it's a business and having a name that welcomes people from all of the Americas is a good thing, as the reports from the track seem to confirm.

Thanks for the reports from the ground, they're fascinating reading. Bummer your memory card corrupted, eric2.

I think the Ferrari engine seal thing is a bit sleazy, but such is life in F1. Markjenn, I'll honor you by not harping on the other sleazy aspect of this race! Suffice to say that the 30-second gap to Alonso is a pretty strong statement.

Man, a pass for the lead late in the race? How cool is that? It's as tho the gods smiled on COTA. And I loved seeing the genuine enthusiasm the McLaren guys, up to an including Whitmarsh, had for Hamilton. Nice to see there's no bitterness there.

Turn 1 produced a lot of action. As they say, it's an icon already. Fill Hill? I like it. :)
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:47 AM   #1584
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Concur with previous messages:

The good: Great facility, great race weekend, Austin, friendly hosts.

The bad: crowd management, high prices and excessive dust.

There were problems with credit card transactions. Probably both: not enough drinks and food stands AND their transactions done very slowly.

Initially the police down the street, by the track, had no idea where you needed to go!!!!

We parked at parking lot P. our seats were at Turn 5. It was actually not that bad walking from our seats to the parking after the press conference. The parking lot was pretty blocked, but we were lucky to pick a line that moved ok.
There were many spots where police was needed but not present, instead we found out there were police patrols at two intersections "far" from the track area where there was no traffic at all. At one point we took a turn from 812 looking at the GPS, this decision turned out perfect as we hit pretty much no traffic.

Overall I had a great time and, even if far from me, I'll consider coming back.

I don't know why I have not been able to add pictures here!!!! I'll need to look into privacy settings.


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Old 11-19-2012, 10:48 AM   #1585
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ps I believe the TV coverage is done by Bernie's TV production company, so the quality of the images shouldn't change next season on NBC. Clearly, a lot of thought went into making the place look good on camera. It paid off!
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:54 AM   #1586
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Originally Posted by Josephvman View Post
It's pretty hard to find much to fault with the race weekend. Getting that number of people in and out of the track is never going to be fast, but for the most part things always seemed to be moving, even the massive lineup for the shuttles after the race. We left our seats at Turn 6 right after the podium ceremony, and didn't get to my car in the parking garage next to the 15th and Trinity downtown shuttle spot until 3.5 hours later. At least an hour of that was simply getting from out seats to the line for the shuttle, which was another 1.5 hour wait.
.

For the sake of contrast, when I went to Monza in 2006, my walk through the park from my seat at Turn One to the train station, train into Milan, and the three block walk from the station to where I was staying with a friend took about 45min total.

OTOH, nothing will ever top walking to my RV across the street from IMS for the first F1 there, or living in my RV across the main straight from the Corvette pits at Sebring '99.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:54 AM   #1587
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ps I believe the TV coverage is done by Bernie's TV production company, so the quality of the images shouldn't change next season on NBC. Clearly, a lot of thought went into making the place look good on camera. It paid off!
hard to believe Tilke came up with that track....
maybe they have listened to the comment on the other tracks they have designed recently.


I hope they drop the idea of New Jersey for good after this. A "proper" race track is just so much better all-around.
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:01 AM   #1588
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I hope they drop the idea of New Jersey for good after this. A "proper" race track is just so much better all-around.
Bite your tongue! My plans to be in Austin were dashed when I got a gig that put me in Appleton, WI yesterday.
I'm looking forward to taking the NJT train to a F1GP!
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:07 AM   #1589
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Bite your tongue! My plans to be in Austin were dashed when I got a gig that put me in Appleton, WI yesterday.
I'm looking forward to taking the NJT train to a F1GP!
pfft.. just take Amtrak to la belle province

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Old 11-19-2012, 11:25 AM   #1590
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hard to believe Tilke came up with that track....
maybe they have listened to the comment on the other tracks they have designed recently.
According to Autoweek, he didn't Explains a lot!

Quote:
On Thursday I drove into the Circuit of the Americas for the first time and stood at the bottom of the uphill-climbing turn one, staring wide-eyed for five minutes at this state-of-the-art 3.4-mile circuit—designed, by the way, by Hellmund and motorcycle racing legend Kevin Schwantz, and not by Hermann Tilke as some propaganda would have you believe. Sure, Tilke's company engineered it, but the layout is Hellmund's and Schwantz's all the way. Unlike many road courses, it features excellent sightlines and multiple viewing areas with great views of more than a single corner or straightaway. As a complete, modern facility, it stands absolutely unrivaled by any racing venue on this continent. Period.

Read more: http://www.autoweek.com/article/2012...#ixzz2ChLcZZfM
With Montreal also being an exciting track, North America now has two excellent venues for F1.

Only thing is, it's downright weird being able to watch F1 live in the middle of the afternoon. Discombobulating!
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