Austin's F1 circuit.

Questions and answers about going to a race weekend
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madbrad
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Re: Trouble brewing for Austin's F1 circuit?

Post by madbrad »

But did he mean the geometric center of the contiguous US or did he mean a figurative "middle of nowhere", many hours' drive from any appreciable center of civilization? According to the talk in this thread, and it's news to me, any city smaller than NYC is hicksville and not civilization.
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andrew
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Re: Trouble brewing for Austin's F1 circuit?

Post by andrew »

myownalias wrote:
andrew wrote:
myownalias wrote:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_auto_racing_tracks_in_the_United_States#Road_courses <- A list of non-oval tracks in the US; surely one of these could be modified to F1 standards!

I'm aware that there are several tracks that are not ovals but it's about the location. Not far off being in the middle of the US (ok, it's a bit to the south of the centre). I have a problem with existing tracks being upgraded as this can ruin a perfectly good track which is fantastic for other motorsports. The there are the infrastructure requirements to think of. Better to start from scratch most of the time I reckon.

We'll have to agree to disagree on new tracks versus upgraded tracks... but Austin is far from the middle of the country, infact it's only 350 miles from the Mexican border, whereas it's over 2200 miles to the Canadian border... If you want the middle of the country, you need Kansas or Nebraska, which both have oodles of space to build a track!!!


I did say it was to the south of the centre. :wink:

I wonder how Austin is placed in terms of population spread?
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Fred_C_Dobbs
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Re: Trouble brewing for Austin's F1 circuit?

Post by Fred_C_Dobbs »

The geographic center of the USA is near the town of Lebanon, Kansas. I remember it from the storyline of an old Disney movie starring Kurt Russell.

One of the things that struck me odd when I heard the Austin announcement was that their airport's only "regular" international flights are to Cancun, Mexico. Which leaves the non-North Americans who want to attend the race little choice but to transition through Dallas-Ft Worth. I've been through both several times and I'd rather transition through Charles de Gaulle than through DFW. Both are international travel's version of Dante's ninth circle of hell but at CDG you at least can get a decent croque-monsieur and a nice glass of Bordeaux. :drink:
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darwin dali
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Re: Trouble brewing for Austin's F1 circuit?

Post by darwin dali »

And the saga continues
Starts to feel like Dallas, the TV series...
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Re: Trouble brewing for Austin's F1 circuit?

Post by andrew »

Is there anyone involved with the initial JR? If there is they'd better watch out. We'll never know who dunnit!

MrE being scepticle is understandable. The organisers have already dropped the ball and what's to say they won't do it again? I guess MrE has no faith in them, which is fair enough considering this fiasco.
Last edited by andrew on 24 Nov 11, 20:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Trouble brewing for Austin's F1 circuit?

Post by darwin dali »

andrew wrote:Is there anyone involved with the initial JR? If there is they'd better watch out. We'll never know who dunnit!

Always thought BE=JR :yikes:
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Re: Trouble brewing for Austin's F1 circuit?

Post by myownalias »

andrew wrote:I wonder how Austin is placed in terms of population spread?

Austin has a population of 790,000 housed in a land area of 298 square miles, sitting 14th in a list of US cities by population. New York has the highest population, which numbers 8.175m in a 300 square mile radius, so it doesn't even make a great deal of sense from a population point of view...
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Fred_C_Dobbs
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Re: Trouble brewing for Austin's F1 circuit?

Post by Fred_C_Dobbs »

myownalias wrote:
andrew wrote:I wonder how Austin is placed in terms of population spread?

Austin has a population of 790,000 housed in a land area of 298 square miles, sitting 14th in a list of US cities by population. New York has the highest population, which numbers 8.175m in a 300 square mile radius, so it doesn't even make a great deal of sense from a population point of view...

In the nation that gave birth to drive-thru fast food, the "recreational vehicle" (AKA caravan), the "motor hotel" and the "tailgate party," the only factor that is bankable is accessibility. When Walt Disney selected the swamps near Orlando, Florida as the site for the world's largest theme park, he was counting on easy access from the USA's sprawling "Interstate" dual carriageway system to bring the tens of millions of visitors he hoped it would draw. I hear that business has had a certain measure of success. And the metropolitan areas of Talladega, Alabama and Daytona, Florida combined have less than Austin's population, yet they host two of the best-attended automobile races in the world.
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Fred_C_Dobbs
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Re: Trouble brewing for Austin's F1 circuit?

Post by Fred_C_Dobbs »

The big pieces of the COTA feud, as I understand them:

Hellmund recruited two Texas financiers, Bobby Epstein and Red McCombs, to fund the acquisition of land and construction of the circuit and facilities. A few months ago, Epstein and McCombs fell into a testicle-weighing contest, which distracted them from the task of constructing the circuit. Probably not the best idea have a business deal hinging on the outcome of two Texas-sized egos arguing whose turn it is to pick up the checque.

Then they claimed they had invested $100 million USD in the COTA thus far, with the expectation Hellmund should repay that amount. But Hellmund reckoned the amount closer to $40 million, which brought the three of them to loggerheads.

In the meanwhile, Hellmund was failing to meet COTA's landmark contractual obligations to the FOM. Presumably he thought it folly to accept the $25 million offered by the state of Texas -- which he then would have paid to the FOM -- when he couldn't guarantee COTA's completion. His patience stretched beyond its famously low modulus of elasticity, Bernie declared COTA in breach and the contract void. So Bernie wrote a new contract, which he offered directly to Epstein and McCombs.

But before offering them their new terms, Bernie had got terms for his GP of (almost) NYC, which he had been coveting since the early 1970s even more than his lift shoes and trophy brides. Which means F1's return to the USA was a fair certainty, regardless what might happen with COTA.

And Bernie was fully aware how deep a barrel he held Epstein and McCombs over. The F1 race always was the linchpin in COTA's commercial plans. All the other racing series weighing using COTA knew the perception of association with F1 would have a material affect on their gate receipts. And those two already were out perhaps as much as $100 million, which they had little hope of recouping without they agreed to whatever exorbitant terms Bernie might propose and paid their $25 million tribute to the FOM. With Bernie in such an advantageous position, there can be little doubt the terms of the new contract would have left Epstein and McComb's sphincter regions in dire need of immediate medical attention.

So now the Texans announce they have the FOM's money but they will not consent to the butt piracy. I wish them the best of luck but my money is on El Supremo.
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f1usa
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Re: Trouble brewing for Austin's F1 circuit?

Post by f1usa »

Tavo's intentions for the Austin $25M are clear but whether he would have used it to pay FIA sanction fee was at heart of dispute with shareholder funding construction of track. If Austin venue is cancelled the shareholders can thank Bernie for voiding first contract as defendant Bernie Ecclestone has inserted himself in middle of $100M legal dispute.
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Re: Trouble brewing for Austin's F1 circuit?

Post by tim wood »

f1usa wrote:Tavo's intentions for the Austin $25M are clear but whether he would have used it to pay FIA sanction fee was at heart of dispute with shareholder funding construction of track. If Austin venue is cancelled the shareholders can thank Bernie for voiding first contract as defendant Bernie Ecclestone has inserted himself in middle of $100M legal dispute.

Hellmund could not do anything with METF money. The deal was designed so that COTA & its investors would pay the sanctioning fee, then be reimbursed by the METF.

This isn't a Bernie problem. Had COTA backers paid the discounted sanctioning fee of $25M when it was due, we wouldn't even be having this discussion. My question, if they had the money as they claim, is "Why didn't they pay when they could have paid the lowered fee they seem to want so badly now?"

I see only a few likely possibilities:

a)They had the money but wanted to secure loans and couldn’t
b)They just didn’t have the money
c)They purposely withheld payment in order to force Ecclestone to void his race rights contract with Tavo, thus cutting him out of the deal he took years to create
d)Some combination of the above

For a very good summary of the whos and whys behind this mess, here are two excellent articles by the writer who broke the story to the public. He knows what's really going on here.

http://www.autoweek.com/article/20111114/FREE/311149999
http://www.autoweek.com/article/20111126/FREE/111129948
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tim wood
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Re: Trouble brewing for Austin's F1 circuit?

Post by tim wood »

Getting reports from the site of semi-trucks full of dirt enteriing the scene, dirt movers rolling, and possibly Tavo on site at the turn 1 oservation deck.

On my way to see for myself.
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Re: Trouble brewing for Austin's F1 circuit?

Post by tim wood »

OK, just back from the site.



- Lots of trucks bringing in dirt & dumping it around the esses.

- A group of people viewed the site earlier from the observation deck.

- Tavo Hellmund's presence was not confirmed.

- No other construction activity was observed.
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darwin dali
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Re: Trouble brewing for Austin's F1 circuit?

Post by darwin dali »

tim wood wrote:OK, just back from the site.



- Lots of trucks bringing in dirt & dumping it around the esses.

- A group of people viewed the site earlier from the observation deck.

- Tavo Hellmund's presence was not confirmed.

- No other construction activity was observed.


Or are they just restoring the landscape to how it was before they started? :P
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tim wood
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Re: Trouble brewing for Austin's F1 circuit?

Post by tim wood »

Just heard a COTA announcement is coming this afternoon.. No time, location, or other info.
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