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AustinF1

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Posts posted by AustinF1


  1. By the way, the bump issue was even worse than the riders expected...

    The track's in bad shape.

    v957ztnmcyr21.jpg?width=960&crop=smart&a

     

    Riders this year talked about bumps forcing their butts off their seats and their feet getting knocked off the pegs at high speed on the back straight. Then there was Aleix Espargaro, who broke both lock stops at over 200 mph:

    Here's Espargaro & Danilo Petrrucci after Friday practice this year. They aren't talking about ripples in the braking zone.

    Quote

     

    The real danger is in the straight, the Spaniard feared.

    “In the straight in sixth gear it’s super difficult to maintain the throttle open. It’s very dangerous and we are one-by-one. I don’t want to think about what’s going to happen in the race.” He had broken both steering lock stops down the back straight, as the front end shook violently, he said.

    Danilo Petrucci agreed with Aleix Espargaro. “I think this doesn’t reach the standard for a MotoGP track,” he said after FP1. “I mean, it’s unbelievable why we are riding here.”

    “The track and the circuit in general is unbelievable in a positive sense, but the asphalt is unbelievable in a negative sense. It’s a shame, because it could be very, very much faster, but you have to ride trying to deal with the bumps.”

    Isle of Man vs. Circuit of the Americas

    The bumps were now so bad that he could not keep the throttle pinned down the back straight, the factory Ducati rider said.

    “The main problem is that we checked the data from last year, and in some parts we were able to keep the throttle open, this year it is impossible. The risk is that on that part, you change gear, and if you hit the limiter when the bike jumps, when the rear tire jumps, and if you hit the limiter too much, the problem is that you can break your engine.”

     

    This is the part that COTA should be most worried about - how quickly the track has become so bumpy.

    Rossi & Jack Miller:

    Quote

     

    "The track itself is not that old, as Vale says," Pramac's Jack Miller added. "We go to many tracks on the calendar that have a lot more years on them and are not that bumpy.

    "But the track was bumpy, especially the back straight, and then last year they ground it down and the bumps actually became bigger and longer. So I'm interested to see if the work for this year is an improvement or if it's just trying to patch another job and not that great."

     

    Dovizioso: It's bumpy everywhere. Not sure if it can be fixed without a total rebuild...

    Quote

     

    "I'm worried it's not possible to really fix the problem that exists with the track. And that is very bad because I think it's one of the most beautiful tracks in our championship," said the Ducati rider.

    "The problem is there are bumps everywhere and with the bike it’s very difficult to ride. Not just to be fast. Looks like the asphalt or the dirt under the asphalt moves almost everywhere. So it's difficult to fix if you don’t make a completely new preparation, I think."

     

     


  2. Hey Nick, I feel your friend's pain re: the GA experience at COTA. They are definitely not friendly to General Admission fans. However, it seems like someone gave him some bad info. GA is open all the way from where the tunnel crosses under the front straight up past turn 1, all the way down the east side of the track (T1-11), and around T11 to the premium RV lot. Then it picks up again at T16 & 17, then again at 18-20. It was probably a clueless or misinformed temp worker, as practically everyone you see on a race day there works for some temp agency. It's a rare thing to actually see someone who works for COTA. It's sad that they won't get better workers at the facility and educate them in a way that's helpful to the fan experience, but that's COTA for you.

    I feel bad that his trip to COTA was ruined by that kind of bad service. We hear about things like this over and over and over again. People say we're anti-COTA, but we aren't. We want people to come here and have a good time in Austin and enjoy the racing at the track. We try to help people do that as much as we can, because COTA's certainly not going to do it.


  3. Texas May Give F1's US Grand Prix Its Missing $25 Million

    https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2019/05/09/sports/ap-car-f1-us-grand-prix-finances.html

    https://apnews.com/d0e1cf252bd342d7a68c9d2d5ffd1f54

    Quote

    Circuit of the Americas President Bobby Epstein, who also founded the investment firm Prophet Capital, has pumped about $100,000 in campaign donations to state officials and lawmakers in the six months since the 2018 race, including donations to Gov. Greg Abbott, whose office controls the fund, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who presides over the Senate.

    Other donations went to several lawmakers who sit on committees that first considered the bill or live in districts near the racetrack. Epstein did not immediately return messages seeking comment Thursday.

    ...

    State law requires applicants to submit an anti-human trafficking plan 30 days before an event as part of an effort to combat spikes in prostitution. U.S. Grand Prix organizers didn't file their plan until 11 days before the 2018 race and were disqualified for reimbursement. Within weeks, Epstein donated $50,000 to Abbott and $25,000 to Patrick, and donated nearly $13,000 to members of the committees considering the bill.

    The bill doesn't name the Circuit of the Americas or the U.S. Grand Prix, but it specifically carves out a second chance to apply for events that miss the 30-day deadline for the anti-human trafficking plan if it gets filed seven days prior, and is used during the event. Both of those details apply to the Austin race.


  4. So what do you do if you're COTA/Epstein and you screwed the pooch on your application for $25M of free taxpayer subsidy money?

    Why of course you just flaunt the law, cry "Unfair!" when it's enforced, and then get a friendly legislator from way out in West Texas to introduce tailor-made stealth legislation, changing the law ... retroactively ... so it's like you never effed up in the first place.
     
    It seems COTA has pushed legislation that would retroactively allow them to collect the ~$25M they lost when they botched their 2018 F1 MERP application. HB 4008 would change the law, effective RETROACTIVELY, to cover COTA's ass on their own failure to comply with the law.
     

    By: Frullo, Moody, Cyrier, Krause, Rodriguez H.B. No. 4008

     
    Substitute the following for H.B. No. 4008:
     
    By: Cyrier C.S.H.B. No. 4008
     
     
     
    A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
     
    AN ACT
     
     
    relating to plans required to be submitted to be eligible to receive
    funding through the Major Events Reimbursement Program.
    BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
    SECTION 1. Section 5A, Chapter 1507 (S.B. 456), Acts of the
    76th Legislature, Regular Session, 1999 (Article 5190.14, Vernon's
    Texas Civil Statutes), is amended by amending Subsection (a-1) and
    adding Subsection (a-5) to read as follows:
    (a-1) An event not listed in Subsection (a)(4) of this
    section is ineligible for funding under this section. A listed
    event may receive funding through the Major Events Reimbursement
    Program under this section only if:
    (1) a site selection organization selects a site
    located in this state for the event to be held one time or, for an
    event scheduled to be held each year for a period of years under an
    event contract, or an event support contract, one time each year for
    the period of years, after considering, through a highly
    competitive selection process, one or more sites that are not
    located in this state;
    (2) a site selection organization selects a site in
    this state as:
    (A) the sole site for the event; or
    (B) the sole site for the event in a region
    composed of this state and one or more adjoining states;
    (3) the event is held not more than one time in any
    year;
    (4) the amount of the incremental increase in tax
    receipts determined by the department under Subsection (b) of this
    section equals or exceeds $1 million, provided that for an event
    scheduled to be held each year for a period of years under an event
    contract or event support contract, the incremental increase in tax
    receipts shall be calculated as if the event did not occur in the
    prior year; and
    (5) not later than the 30th day before the first day of
    the event, a site selection organization or the organization
    hosting the event submits a plan to prevent the trafficking of
    persons in connection with the event to the office of the attorney
    general, the human trafficking prevention task force established
    under Section 402.035, Government Code, and the chief of the Texas
    Division of Emergency Management.
    (a-5) If the department determines an event is ineligible to
    receive funding through the Major Events Reimbursement Program due
    solely to a failure to timely submit a plan as required by
    Subsection (a-1)(5) of this section, the event may receive funding
    through the program if:
    (1) the plan required by that subdivision is submitted
    to the required entities not later than seven days before the event
    begins and is implemented during the event; and
    (2) all other requirements for funding under this
    section, including those imposed by Subsections (d-1) and (w) of
    this section, are satisfied not later than the 60th day after the
    last day of the fiscal year in which the event occurs, provided
    submission of the plan required by Subsection (a-1)(5) of this
    section was not previously required under this section for that
    event.
    SECTION 2. This Act applies to an event that occurs before,
    on, or after the effective date of this Act.
    SECTION 3. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
    a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
    provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this
    Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
    Act takes effect on the 90th day after the last day of the
    legislative session.


  5. After COTA repairs, MotoGP riders hope 'Horsepower Rodeo' is less bumpy
    https://www.statesman.com/sports/20190411/after-cota-repairs-motogp-riders-hope-horsepower-rodeo-is-less-bumpy

    The article incorrectly states that "The section including Turns 9, 10 and 11 was fully repaved". In fact, the repave did not include Turns 9 or 11. Only Turn 10 was repaved.

    As for the Statesman labeling as 'theories' the comments that the bumps might be caused by the soil conditions, that's a fact, not a theory. It's not the weather or F1 cars as COTA continues to suggest LOL.

    “It’s really bumpy and sends you in many directions, kind of like a rodeo,” said Marc Márquez, explaining the rustic helmet design he’s rocking this week for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas.

    Though the Spaniard has ridden the bumpy Circuit of the Americas track to six straight victories in Austin, even the “King of COTA” had some stern words during the pre-race press conference Thursday when riders were asked about efforts to improve the problems.

    ...

    “I checked a little bit, and I know that they did a few modifications,” Márquez said. “They didn’t fix what we asked from the safety commission. In the first practice we will see what is going on with the track.


    “Of course, this track is quite bumpy. One of the most difficult tracks in this aspect of the calendar. Sometimes it’s disappointing because it’s one of the best layouts. We hope that they did a great job, but tomorrow we will see.”
    ...

    In 2017 multiple riders, including Rossi, used the comparison of a motocross track. As for why the bumps exist and why they’re so hard to get rid of, opinions vary. Some point to the presence of F1 and the high downforce cars from that series inflict on the surface. But COTA is far from the only track to host both.

    The most popular theory is the one that Australian rider Jack Miller of Pramac Racing floated Thursday.

    “I think it’s got to be something to do with the ground around here,” he said. “It looks like it’s a lot of clay, and if I remember correctly, directly after the first year we were here they had a lot of rain, which could cause it to move.

    “I’m interested to see the work that they’ve done this year if it’s an improvement or it’s just trying to patch another job and it’s not that great.”


  6. Austin: Riders doubtful of COTA bump fix

    https://www.crash.net/motogp/news/917399/1/riders-doubtful-cota-bump-fix

    Double title runner-up Andrea Dovizioso is among those that are sceptical of how much can be achieved without a full resurfacing.


    "I'm worried it's not possible to really fix the problem that exists with the track. And that is very bad because I think it's one of the most beautiful tracks in our championship," said the Ducati rider.

    "The problem is there are bumps everywhere and with the bike it’s very difficult to ride. Not just to be fast. Looks like the asphalt or the dirt under the asphalt moves almost everywhere. So it's difficult to fix if you don’t make a completely new preparation, I think."
    As Dovi suggested, while F1 cars are typically blamed for excessive bumps on MotoGP circuits, many feel the geology of the area is the main factor.

    "It's a great shame because the track is fantastic and also quite new, but suffers a lot about a bumps problem," said Yamaha's Valentino Rossi. "Maybe something happens from below [the surface].

    "In three or four parts they are very big. In the last years they've tried to do something about the bumps but unfortunately they don’t improve. We have to check tomorrow and we hope that it's better."
    "The track itself is not that old, as Vale says," Pramac's Jack Miller added. "We go to many tracks on the calendar that have a lot more years on them and are not that bumpy.

    "I think it's definitely got to be to do with the ground around here. It looks like a lot of clay and if I remember correctly directly after the first year we were here they had a lot of rain, which could cause it to move.

    "But the track was bumpy, especially the back straight, and then last year they ground it down and the bumps actually became bigger and longer. So I'm interested to see if the work for this year is an improvement or if it's just trying to patch another job and not that great."

     

     


  7. 2 minutes ago, rails said:

    I would like to finally be able to make that June show. I have never been to an Indy car race on an oval. And of course the trucks are always good, for me anyway.

    IndyCars on an oval are a good show. Seeing them at TMS when it opened is what got me interested in Open Wheel  racing, leading to my F1 addiction. I'm taking my boys to the 500 this summer to hopefully see Alonso nail the triple crown. Really looking forward to it. Never been...


  8. Welp, if word spreads, it'll have to be by word of mouth, because COTA isn't gonna spread it. But that's not a new race atmosphere at COTA. Even on the racing grid we've seen the same or even more access with other series, some of whom have long since told COTA goodbye despite better crowds than the one IndyCar drew last weekend - V8SC, WEC, IMSA, PWC/Blancpain, the 24H Series, etc.

    I think IndyCar will probably stay for their contract, but after that, it'll be "Adios" imho. That is ... if it's a 3 year contract. If it's 5 years, I doubt they'll last that long. Can't remember which it is.


  9. On 3/27/2019 at 11:53 AM, toyotatim said:

    I sure thought it was a good crowd for Indycar. 

    What do you think is a good crowd for IndyCar?

    Did you know that the Lone Star Le Mans races and the one-off Aussie V8SC race outdrew this IndyCar race, despite temperatures in the 90s for most of those races and very good weather this past weekend? Even the stand-alone IMSA and WEC races did better than IndyCar after splitting the Lone Star Le Mans into separate weekends in 2017.

    FYI (because few people know this kind of stuff re: COTA) .... 

    There were just around 30,000 reserved seats in use for Indycar, and they were still only, at best, around 20% full on average during the race (if I'm being generous). The Main Grandstand, T1 GS, & T15 GS were pathetically empty, and the General Admission crowd was just bad at best. The most crowded-looking grandstand was T12, which has been cut in half and is also where they put the giveaway tickets and discounted tickets. There was a moderate GA gathering at T1, but typically crowded GA areas were full of nothing. T6 was not very crowded  & T18 was virtually empty. T11 was deserted. The crowd along the esses was very thin, and there were maybe 25-50 people beyond Turn 6 during the race, probably at least partially due to the fact that COTA wouldn't turn on any TV beyond the esses (as they've also been doing for MotoGP lately).

    Friday and Saturday, the turnout was embarrassingly bad, both in the stands and in GA. They had to move the concert from the Superstage to the much smaller amphitheater because they knew the small crowd would look ridiculous at the Superstage. Optics are more important than actual crowd numbers at COTA.  They didn't even use Lots L or M, but still couldn't fill Lots A, F, or T, even on race day, despite the weather this past weekend being pretty great.

    Regardless of Epstein and IndyCar putting a happy face on it, it wasn't a good crowd (to put it mildly). That's what usually happens when the local promoter pretty much doesn't promote. Nothing new here.

    Don't get me started on the whole 'Reserved seat holders were out walking around or sitting in the dirt beside the track, so that's why the place looked so empty' nonsense. The GA crowd was strikingly sparse out in the places he's talking about. The place looked empty because it was empty.

    He can say he's happy with the crowd, but if he is, then his bar is pretty low. I can't imagine IndyCar is happy, regardless of what they're saying now. WEC, IMSA, V8SC, and X Games all put a nice spin on things right up til they left COTA. V8SC and X Games both left early, mid-contract. 

    And wait a minute - 80000 for F1? That's a lot less than COTA's been telling us.


  10. On 3/29/2019 at 7:57 AM, Exjet145 said:

    If.

     BTW, that 'nearly 30,000' figure probably includes Friday & Saturday, & does include the 10,000 mostly non-race attendees he says showed up for the Muse concert (that started two hours after Saturday's track action ended and really had nothing to do with the race). 


  11. I don't think they ever really believed COTA's ridiculously inflated numbers. More like they just looked the other way. But yeah, my initial reaction to all of this is that for some reason the Gov feels it's politically prudent to stop supporting the shenanigans and looked for a reason to torpedo their money for this year and then do lip service to next year. I could be wrong, but if not, this could be really, really bad for COTA. As in 'fatal'. 

    Or it could all be a dog and pony show like when they briefly lowered the funding in 2015 and took the MERP into the Gov's office from the Comptroller under the guise of 'cleaning it up'. LOL.

    What do you think, Nick?


  12. Hey Nick!!

     

    I think Saward is wrong here in assuming the the State's preliminary approval was an error. IIRC that's pretty much standard operating procedure when it comes to the MERP. Seems like he's trying to help COTA find some wiggle room, but the law is pretty straightforward.

    But then, have you ever told Saward he was wrong about something? Oh, the humanity...


  13. Signs not pointing to a WEC return to COTA next year...I guess. There have also been rumors of WEC moving to Indy, with WEC officials having been there during the 500 talking to Indy officials and touring the facility.
    Hankook 24H COTA Confirmed on 2017 24H Series Schedule - Sportscar365 http://sportscar365.com/gt/24hseries/24h-cota-confirmed-on-2017-24h-series-schedule/

     

    the 24H Series powered by Hankook will make its North American debut next year, with Creventic confirming the Hankook 24 Hours of COTA on its 2017 schedule, which was released in Friday.
    The non-championship event for GT and touring cars will take place on Nov. 9-11, 2017 at Circuit of The Americas, marking only the second professional level 24-hour race in America outside of the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
    Meanwhile, Sportscar365 says a potential WEC-PWC Austin 2017 pairing has been ruled out: Mexico City Thursday Notebook: http://sportscar365.com/lemans/wec/mexico-city-thursday-notebook/

     

    "Neveu downplayed talk of a new event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which has been rumored to replace Circuit of The Americas. What’s known is that the joint IMSA/WEC weekend will not continue at COTA, with IMSA having moved to a feature event in early May. The Pirelli World Challenge weekend at COTA on Sept. 1-3, 2017 will also not feature WEC, which leaves its only option as a standalone event at the Texas circuit."
    Anyone here know much about this series? Looks like it may replace WEC at COTA.
    There have also been rumors of WEC moving to Indy, with WEC officials having been there during the 500 talking to Indy officials and touring the facility.

     

    "As you know, Le Mans is always looking for innovating for the fans, for the technical rules, for the competitors. And that is the idea [behind this trip]. Enjoy, first, I have to say, but just to feel the spirit, to understand. The third idea is maybe is why not one day bring the WEC here? It makes sense."

    ...

    "I think there's a lot of ideas to take here, but [saturday] when I come inside the track, you know you have something – there is a feeling," Fillon said. "It is the same at Le Mans. You can feel the story, you can feel the soul and it was my first impression with everything we saw.

    ...

    Despite increasing efforts from Neveu's team and the management of Circuit of The Americas to grow the size and popularity of the WEC's lone visit to the USA each year, the series could be on the lookout for a new venue after this year's race. It makes the upcoming return to Indy to discuss an event on the fast and smooth IMS road course more a subject of necessity than curiosity but there could be a significant hurdle to clear before sportscar fans begin booking travel to Indiana in 2017.

    As a new circuit, COTA was eager to attract big international series and spent freely to sign Formula 1, the WEC, MotoGP, and even V8 Supercars after the circuit opened a few years ago. But with COTA's diminished annual budget, and lukewarm local response to the most innovative racecars on the planet, the relationship with the WEC has seemed destined for a conclusion.

    Where potential complications lie is in the series' search for a new American home after growing accustomed to COTA's spending habits. Based on background chatter at the Speedway, the sanction fee requested by the WEC would need to come down from the unrealistic figure made available by COTA.

    ...

    If the financials are right, and the WEC can bring a bigger crowd to Indy than COTA has produced in three tries since 2013, the event could make sense. With Chevrolet and Ford located 250 miles north in Michigan, and American corporate headquarters for Audi, Porsche, and other WEC staples within a reasonable distance to the Speedway, the marriage of IMS and Neveu's manufacturer-driven series could be a fantastic fit.

    "The very common point we can feel since the beginning of the weekend here is that I think the people from Indy and the people from Le Mans, we have exactly the same concern about the fans," Neveu said of wanting to create a bigger and better spectacle.

    "The idea we are searching for is how can we make them happy because all the things we're doing is for the fans. We love the way they do it [here]. It is amazing."

     

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