Circuit of the Americas renderingEnlarge Photo
It's not even built yet but Circuit of the Americas (COTA) outside Austin TX is making plans for its future even as dirt is moved into place prior to paving the enterprise. Formula One is expected to provide the first usage of this undulating road circuit in November as COTA hosts the penultimate race of the F1 year.
The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) announced at the start of June that it will conduct an early-season race at the Texas facility in 2013; the ALMS said it will reveal the date when it releases the complete ALMS 2013 racing calendar later this year.
While COTA is less than 15 miles from Austin, the capitol of the State of Texas with a central business and arts district, the 3.4-mile road course is being noted - already - for its sustainability through high-performance operations, design, research, education and partnerships, track developers are stating.
"The opportunity to partner with the Circuit of the Americas and bring North America's premier sports car racing series to fans across Texas - at what is going to be one of the finest road-racing facilities in the world - is a natural fit for all involved," stated ALMS president and CEO Scott Atherton.
"The addition of Circuit of the Americas to our schedule will be very well-received by our fans and stakeholders alike. We know we have a lot of ALMS fans in Texas and for our teams, manufacturers and sponsors, Austin and the surrounding region represent an important new business market."
The new circuit's configuration includes 20 turns and a 133-foot elevation change as cars travel counter-clockwise. The $400 million (estimated) facility is expected to accommodate as many as 120,000 fans and will be one of only 26 Grade 1-certified motorsports facilities in the world.
In addition to its state-of-the-art racetrack, COTA will include a visitors center that features outdoor live music space and a museum. It also is expected to contain a 40,000-square-foot conference/media center. COTA expects to be able to service technology, business and educational needs and will have a large medical centee offering paramedic services and EMS/medical student training, with other proposed amenities highlighting the complex's master plan.
"Our vision is to bring premier sports and entertainment programming to Circuit of the Americas and to partner with motorsports organization that put a premium on innovation, fan experience and environmental sustainability," noted current COTA president Steve Sexton. "The American Le Mans Series - with its highly competitive, customer-focused programming and its well-known commitment to Green Racing - certainly fits that vision. We know ALMS fans to be extremely loyal and engaged and we look forward to showing them a great time in Central Texas."
ALMS is a pioneer in Green Racing; it is the only motorsports entity to comply with the Green Racing protocols developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and SAE International. These groups use Green Racing to foster technology developments for tomorrow's production vehicles, enhance national energy security and reduce carbon emissions.
"The American Le Mans Series is the model for sustainability in the motorsports industry, Edgar Ferrari, sustainability director for COTA added. "The Series' commitment to environmental stewardship matches our own, as Circuit of the Americas has joined the Green Sports Alliance and is the first road racing facility to join the alliance. It's rewarding to partner with a motorsports series that's truly in sync with a cause that matters to us."
The ALMS is on hiatus right now, as many of its teams and noted drivers compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Round No. 4 of the 2012 ALMS season is the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, CT, which takes place on Saturday, July 7 at 4PM EDT.