Well, this is one of the big concerns that I had for the proposed US Grand Prix. Traffic is going to be a big factor in making this thing actually fly. If the organizers want the race to go off without a hitch (and not turn into the US version Silverstone based on traffic) they are essentially going to have to build a new highway system, or widen the one that is in place already. However, the Travis County planners have said that the widening of the lanes and making other improvements would not be completed by the proposed race date of 2012, even if they began work now. This all stems from people wanting to jump the gun and get a race underway in this country as soon as possible, despite the fact that they failed to actually study the traffic requirements and problems that an event like this will undoubtedly bring about. And, as usual, there are also concerns as to who will foot the bill for all these new things. The saga, it seems, will continue for now, and I am still very much in doubt of this US GP taking place in Austin, Texas by 2012. Click this link for more.
Posted in Formula One
Tagged Austin, Austin Texas, F1, F1 News, Formula One, Formula One Circuits, Formula One News, Formula One Tracks, new f1 track, Silverstone, taxpayer money, Texas, traffic, traffic jams, travis county, United States Grand Prix, USGP
I have been critical of the supposed US GP that will come to Austin, TX in 2012. Although I am still skeptical of the whole “Formula One in the heart of NASCAR” concept, they have actually made public their plans for what the track will look like. As you can see, the track takes a counter-clockwise approach, making it unique in the world of F1, as only a select few other tracks also feature the counter-clockwise layout.
Some of the other features of the track include 133 feet of elevation change (probably man-made as Texas is fairly flat I believe) as well as multiple corner viewing for spectators and a magnificent view of the downtown skyline. From the looks of things, I would say there are three decent overtaking spots, and maybe one or two others that could be tried if the driver is willing to take a chance (which most won’t). The thing that sort of bothers me is the willingness to copy other layouts from other tracks, specifically Silverstone, Hockenheim and Istanbul. While this seems like a good idea, I think that every track should have its own personality. If a track has to rely on corners to be transplanted into it to make it flow and work, then it’s not very unique and the design looks lazy. And because this is yet another Tilke designed track, laziness is probably setting in at this point. His tracks have been criticized before for being all right to drive, but not fun to watch, as there are rarely any passing opportunities. We can all hope this one will be different, but dollars to donuts says it will probably just be more of the same tired design that Tilke has become known for. You know why drivers like the old tracks so much? Because they still have a sense of danger about them. They are not some cookie-cutter, stale parade. Spa, Monaco, Monza, Silverstone, the Nordschleife. These are tracks that make drivers look like hairy-chested daredevils, sawing at their wheels in a vein attempt to hold all four wheels on the pavement, whereas most modern circuits are humdrum affairs that are run and conclude with a whisper of a cough.
I guess that the best thing I can think of about this course is that it is not a city track. There are too many of them these days – and too many on the horizon. Stick to Monaco for the city track, otherwise build actual circuits that take both the driver and the spectator for a ride. If the US GP at Austin does ever come about, I do hope they can make it work. As always, I am still skeptical.
US GP at Austin: Circuit Map
3D US GP at Austin track map
Posted in Formula One
Tagged Austin Texas, Bernie Ecclestone, F1, F1 News, Formula One, Formula One News, Herman Tilke, Hermann Tilke, Hockenheim, Istanbul, Monaco, NASCAR, Nordschleife, Nurburgring, Silverstone, Spa-Francorchamps, United States Grand Prix, US GP, US Grand Prix
Well, well and more well. I’m not going to say “I told you so” just yet, but it seems as though Bernie let the cat out of the bag a little prematurely. The surprise announcement in May of the US GP coming to Austin, Texas was actually a complete surprise to the people behind the project as well! the lawyer for the project recently told an Austin newspaper that they “had no idea it was coming, and it started a firestorm.” Personally, this just seems like another attempt from Bernie to drum up some attention to a race that will, most likely, never be run. The whole idea of actually building a new racetrack specifically for F1 on American soil is such a long shot, that it wouldn’t ever seem to be a viable option. And because Bernie always needs to be making headlines, he probably saw it as an opportunity to release some sort of news before it was really ready to be released. So now Tavo Hellmund, the race promoter, and the Texas state comptroller will be attending the British Grand Prix. I would guess this would be because they have no actual clue as to how an actual Grand Prix works (well Tavo does). But there are some heavy logistics that need to be figured out, not the least of which is still how to get the traffic into and out of the race track area. Needless to say that this Austin GP is still under some heavy scrutiny and skepticism and this new info that Bernie basically blurted something out before it was ready to be blurted doesn’t shed a good light in my eyes. Also, let’s not forget that this race is supposedly going to happen in less than two years time, and people are still talking about preliminary details. I would like to bring up an example of typical America work speed at this point. In my hometown, there is a bridge that connects one side of a river to the other. It has been under constant construction for OVER SEVEN YEARS!! And it still isn’t finished. I see no way that this track gets greenlighted, or even finished, unless a million Chinese day laborers are hired at super low wages. I will believe that the US GP is for real when I see a finished race track and cars doing hot laps.
In other news, I hit 300,000 visitors today! Thanks to all who have visited this site, and keep coming back for more.
Posted in Cars, Formula One, Random Ramblins
Tagged Austin, Austin Texas, Bernie Ecclestone, British Grand Prix, car racing, f1 f1 news, Formula One, Formula One News, race cars, Silverstone, tavo hellmund, Texas, US GP