Monthly Archives: September 2010

Austin USGP track layout revealed

The track layout for the US Grand Prix, to be held in Austin, Texas, has been shown for the first time to the public. By the looks of it, the track will have huge elevation changes, a section of fast sweeping corners, as well as speeds of up to 320km/h.

A 3-D layout of the US GP track

A 3-D layout of the US GP track

A track layout for the US GP, in Austin, Texas

A track layout for the US GP, in Austin, Texas

The first corner, a 90 degree turn left, looks interesting, especially with a huge amount of elevation increase entering the corner, and then dips sharply exiting. The rest of the first section seems to be lifted from Silverstone, with a Becketts-style left-right-left-right sequence.

Another downhill short straight leads to Turn 11, a slow tight left-hander, before entering the back straight, where the cars will reach speeds of up to 200mph, then ending in a heavy braking zone.

The final sector is a series of short straights and tight corners, although it doesn’t seem to require as much downforce as one might initially suspect. Then, Turns 16, 17 and 18 are inrerconnected high-speed right-handers, with essence of Turn 8 in Turkey here. Then, a left hander, followed by a short straight then another left hander (like the final few corners in Interlagos) ends the lap.

I must say this is much more impressive than what we were expecting. Tavo Hellmund claims that there are 4 spots for overtaking, maximum elevation change of 133ft, and the track width will vary between 39 and 52ft. The venue itself should hold up to 130,000 or 140,000 people, and that the fans should be able to see most of the action around the track because of the elevation changes.

In recent years, Tilkedromes have been notorious for failing to produce exciting races, as the cars struggle to overtake. Hellmund says differently though:

“They’re so on the ragged edge that it’s hard to pass."
In his official release, he stated:
“In the modern era of Grand Prix racing, I think this track 
layout and topography will be very special. It will have many 
of the elements of previous ‘classic’ circuits combined with 
the benefits of FIA-mandated safety for the competitors and 
spectators alike. Add in the amenities fans have come to 
expect, like rare, multiple-turn viewing opportunities for 
added value, and you have an ideal, world-class venue."

“For the competitors, we’ll have all the ingredients 
necessary. You’ll see fast turns that require commitment 
from the drivers and technical turns that will test the 
engineers from a set-up point of view. We have a good deal 
of elevation to make it not only scenic but challenging 
also, and the view of downtown Austin is wonderful as 
well.”

While no official date has been set for construction to begin, it is believed that it will start in December, to be ready for its 2012 grid slot.

Abu Dhabi helping Bulgaria into F1?

Reports this week have suggested that Abu Dhabi is set to assist Bulgaria in launching a new F1 bid.

Boyko Borisov, prime minister of Bulgaria, as well as Bodgan Nikolov, who is the head of the Bulgarian Motorcycling Federation, were meeting with Mohammed Abdul Jalil al Blouki, the chair of the state-run Emirates Associated Business Group (EABG), regarding a deal to get Formula 1 into Bulgaria.

An economic cooperation memorandum has been signed, meaning that the funding and construction of a potential track would be paid for by Abu Dhabi. No comment on the deal has been made so far, with the EABG worried of the “various interpretations of the media”.

However, it is understood that it will be known within 2 weeks whether Bulgaria will have a track or not. Also, while a date is too difficult to call yet, it is understood that the deal hopes for a Grand Prix starting around 2012 or 2013 or so.

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