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Well I think that addresses most of the issues-- literally on the surface.  But does anyone think it'll last?

 

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1 hour ago, utee94 said:

Well I think that addresses most of the issues-- literally on the surface.  But does anyone think it'll last?

 

It addresses most of the worst bits, but yeah, in a very superficial way that they've done before. No, I don't think it'll last. This is really just more of what they did a year ago at T10 ... where the bump on the apex has already returned and the track now weeps water from where the old and new pavement sections meet.

Not to mention that they've done the track work without addressing the drainage issues that Epstein says caused the problems in the first place. I do believe drainage issues are a big part of the problem, but that's not down to broken pipes, imho. And if it were down to broken pipes, it sure seems like he'd want to fix those pipes before putting any money into the track surface.

Edited by wood

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He’s not going to put money into this track. I don’t see F1 returning after the current contract is up due to the fee.

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1 minute ago, Goofyboy said:

He’s not going to put money into this track. I don’t see F1 returning after the current contract is up due to the fee.

That's what I'm seeing. IMHO he sees the end in sight and he's doing the absolute minimum to just keep F1, MotoGP, & IndyCar coming for a handful more years, to milk what he can out of it.

I'm starting to think the track is in even worse shape under the asphalt than even we though before.

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For anyone interested, there is a PCA club race combined with a DE on 2/28 - 3/1. Lots of cool cars at the DE combined with a bunch of crazy amateurs at the club race.  

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New onboard video shows areas of COTA that were resurfaced recently...with varying degrees of success.  Esses bumpier than ever, but not addressed.
 

Still a big bump in the T1 braking zone (it's actually visible as he approaches it), and between 9 & 10 where they just resurfaced. Back straight, 16-19, & 2-3 are better. For now. Recently there's already been water seeping up from under the track, where last winter's T10 resurface meets the original pavement downhill of the apex.

 

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Anyone going for the Indy test on Tuesday? I was all in and then the weather for that day started looking a bit less than ideal.

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Yeah I'm still not sure. I'll probably try to go out, but not if it's really shitty.

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12 hours ago, wood said:

INDYCAR to stream COTA Open Test - https://goo.gl/alerts/HFHdH

Stream the smell and feeling, too. 😃

I can't wait to see that new aeroscreen in person. In pictures, not a fan. I get how it's much safer, but I kinda wish they had gone more like F1's halo.

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F1 teams designed the halo in integrate into the car a lot better than indycar has - this version of aeroscreen is bolted onto a car that wasn't designed with it in mind.    won't be until the new chassis that the aesthetics will improve in 2022. 

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Hmmm looks like they're trying to make a weekend-type event out of that concert.  Tent-camping in LOT N looks miserable.  There's nothing even close to level out there.  There are always a handful of folks that do it for F1 each year, and it's pretty obviously a beating.

Also, that's Memorial Day weekend-- my prediction for the weather in Austin?  Biblical flooding.  

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2 hours ago, Paper_jam said:

A Stones concert at a racetrack? I wonder how that's worked out before...

 

Poorly. And not just Altamont. Texas Motor Speedway sucked.

Edited by Deej

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3 hours ago, Paper_jam said:

A Stones concert at a racetrack? I wonder how that's worked out before...

 

 

31 minutes ago, Deej said:

Poorly. And not just Altamont. Texas Motor Speedway sucked.

No worries. Bobby will say they pulled 100-150K people and everything went perfectly no matter what...

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5 minutes ago, wood said:

 

No worries. Bobby will say they pulled 100-150K people and everything went perfectly no matter what...

Track looks in worse shape than Keith.

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34 minutes ago, Deej said:

Track looks in worse shape than Keith.

He'll probably outlive it, too. But then he'll probably outlive everything...

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Interesting comments by TK on the live stream of IndyCar testing, re: COTA not resurfacing the esses...

Kevin Lee was talking about how weathered the areas were where they didn't resurface, and TK said "It's funny, because they repaved some parts of the track that were bumpy but I did a recon lap and a track walk two days ago, yesterday, and they didn't repave the quick esses, which was the biggest bumps that we had, which is funny. I don't know how that was the option, that they decided to pave one part and not the other part."

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So ... re: the track 'weeping' at Turn 10 that we noticed a couple of weeks ago. It's not in the area that's been most recently resurfaced. It's coming from the 'seam' where the 14 month old T10 resurfacing meets the original pavement. Before this latest resurfacing, you could also see weeping from cracks in the middle of the track, on the hill between T1 and T2, in the original 8+ year old asphalt. There was no camera shot of that area Wednesday, so I'm not sure if it's weeping there again yet, but it will. It's a drainage problem & is going to happen wherever there is an opening, & there are already cracks in the new resurfacing going up T1 and at the apex. Guys who have worked there say they had to pump out the french drains daily for a while after rains, and that whenever it's wet & that isn't done, this is what happens. There seemed to be perpetual puddles & wet spots yesterday anywhere old pavement met new, and all along the new pavement to a lesser extent. They just never dried up, all day, even hours after the old pavement had completely dried.
 
Here's a screenshot of T10 Wednesday afternoon. Look just above the sign support, on the right. That's not one of the puddles I was referring to. That's a steep slope. It's water coming up from below the track, weeping out between original asphalt & the 14 month old section of asphalt. That year-old section of paving starts just before 10 and ends just below it, right where the weeping starts.
 
Hadn't noticed this until this test, but you can also see on that section of pavement that they've already had to do grinding on it, probably during the 2019 USGP weekend, when it was less than 1 year old.

mBOsJ1s.png

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The SCCA Pro Racing-sanctioned Super Lap Battle returns to Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, for the COTA Time Attack Challenge, Feb. 15-16, 2020. The event will see competitors from around the globe taking on the Grand Prix course.


The best from Australia, Asia, and Europe are coming to battle North America’s fastest drivers, and the clock, while winding through the challenging 3.4-mile, 20-turn circuit. The Elusive Racing Integra out of Melbourne, Australia, driven by Brett Dickie, is confirmed, as well as fellow Aussie Barton Mawer, known for driving the fastest time attack car in the world, the PR Technology Porsche RP968. All will be chasing the Lyfe Motorsports Nissan GTR and Cole Powelson, who is back to defend his crown.


The event also features the GridLife Touring Cup, Lone Star Drift demo & ride a longs, and car show.

https://racer.com/2020/01/09/cota-time-attack-challenge/


Anyone going tomorrow? I'm planning on going and never been before. Was thinking of registering for the car show so I can park inside.

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Screen-Shot-2020-02-20-at-9-07-54-AM.jpg

High-rise hotel, water park proposed at Circuit of The Americas
By Erin Edgemon  – Staff Writer, Austin Business Journal

A high-rise hotel and water park could soon be built at the sprawling, 1,037-acre site of Circuit of the Americas in Southeast Austin.

The proposed 11-story hotel would have a 100,000-square-foot indoor water park, 350 rooms and 34,000 square feet of ballroom and meeting room space, said Rocky Williams, vice president of hotel developer Arm Epic Lodging Partners. Neither the theme or name of the hotel and waterpark have been released.

“The waterpark and hotel complement the family entertainment components that already exist at the circuit — the races, concerts, amusement rides, soccer games and conventions,” he said.

A site plan application for the project was submitted Feb. 14 to the city of Austin Development Services Department. An actual site plan hasn’t been filed yet and so hasn’t been reviewed by city staff.

The hotel and water park are the first buildings to be proposed since COTA executives announced in August 2018 plans to rezone the expansive site to allow for additional development around the Formula One racetrack, concert venue and soccer stadium. The project would be constructed just west of the racetrack across Circuit of the Americas Boulevard.

Arm Epic Lodging Partners, the developers behind the Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark in Grand Prairie near Dallas, will lease the site from COTA.

A planned unit development proposal for the COTA land, filed with the city of Austin in October 2018, calls for seven zones with 852 acres of commercial space, 186 acres of mixed-use space and 248 acres of open space.

In addition to the hotel and waterpark, COTA Chairman Bobby Epstein said there are plans in the works to bring a children’s amusement park to the site that will complement existing karting track KOTA Karting.

“The long-term plan is to create a recreation, entertainment and amusement destination for Central Texas,” he said. “Along with that comes sports fields, a hotel and water park ... and amusement related things.”

Epstein said he also envisions eight to 10 multipurpose sports fields and a driving club.

Other future development plans haven’t been hashed out yet, Epstein said. COTA has received interest from some companies, including a transportation research firm looking to build a manufacturing and research center on the property. He said COTA has lost some proposed projects because of the slow PUD approval process.

COTA initially hoped to have the PUD approved by the first quarter of 2019, officials said in 2018.

That still has not happened. The PUD is scheduled to be on the agenda of the March 3 Austin Zoning and Platting Commission, according to the case manager, but staff will request the proposal be postponed indefinitely until issues with the rezoning request are resolved.

Among the outstanding issues are questions over the amount of impervious cover on the proposed commercial sites and not dedicating enough park land for the number of hotel and residential units proposed. A traffic impact analysis of how the development could impact nearby roadways is also awaiting approval.

Although it already hosts hundreds of non-F1 activities every year, more mixed-use development would no doubt further diversify revenue streams at COTA — a key to its viability if F1 ever departs.

Epstein declined to comment on the racetrack’s F1 contract, which ends in 2021.

The hotel proposed at COTA would be upscale with amenities for both children and adults. In addition to the indoor and outdoor water park, the hotel would have a spa and fine-dining restaurant. The indoor water park would have a lazy river, wave pool and other attractions. It would have a retractable roof to take advantage of Austin's warm, sunny summer days.

Pending city approval, Williams said he hopes vertical construction could start in the first quarter of 2021. Construction will take about 24 to 26 months, he said.

The hotel would employ about 350 people, Williams said, and the construction phase of the project is slated to employ 400.

Baltimore, Maryland-based architecture firm CallisonRTKL is designing the hotel and water park. McCartan, a New York City-based firm, is designing the interiors. American Resort Management LLC will manage the hotel.

Manhattan Construction Group is the general contractor. Manhattan has built such prominent structures as AT&T Stadium in Dallas, George W. Bush Presidential Center in University Park and BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.

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I've been hearing for a while now that he's trying to get a PUD to make the land more valuable for sale. No way a hotel happens. Doesn't make sense. Telling everyone you're gonna build a hotel with a water park helps you get that PUD though.

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...and speaking of COTA, WEC just got here and they're already tweeting images featuring the track condition, showing the shoddy paving at T1, and yes, those are weeds growing up through the cracks in the esses. 

 

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1 hour ago, wood said:

those are weeds growing up through the cracks in the esses

it's spring and it's wet, that happens. 

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2 hours ago, Pasken said:

Screen-Shot-2020-02-20-at-9-07-54-AM.jpg

High-rise hotel, water park proposed at Circuit of The Americas
By Erin Edgemon  – Staff Writer, Austin Business Journal

Just realized that hotel takes up most of Lot F. LOL. No biggie. Just lop off COTA's biggest lot. Probably won't be needing it soon anyway.

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10 minutes ago, wood said:

Just realized that hotel takes up most of Lot F. LOL. No biggie. Just lop off COTA's biggest lot. Probably won't be needing it soon anyway.

I might worry if I thought there was any chance of this hotel ever being belt.  I don't, and I'm not. :)

 

 

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21 minutes ago, utee94 said:

I might worry if I thought there was any chance of this hotel ever being belt.  I don't, and I'm not. :)

 

 

Yep. If it made sense for a hotel to be there, there would already be one. Or ten.

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11 hours ago, wood said:

and speaking of COTA, WEC just got here and they're already tweeting images featuring the track condition, showing the shoddy paving at T1, and yes, those are weeds growing up through the cracks in the esses. 

I know we have been here before but it’s really not that bad. As someone who clearly likes racing, I don’t know what your hard on is with having, arguably, the best race tracks in the country in your back yard.  I drove it since the last time I posted here and T1 is a little annoying. But, nothing major.  T2 is annoying to some but I stay farther left there than most and straighten the first two turns. The esses are fine. At least as much as esses with descending apex’s can be.  And, if you’’re thinking about weeds at that point, you are doing it wrong. T9 sucked but if you eat the curb, it’s much more manageable. T18 does suck...a lot.  The bump was right at the apex and has sent many into the adjacent wall.  Thats my only real complaint.  
 

I will race there in a couple weeks and see how it is after the re-surfacing. But, from what I have seen, they appear to have most things corrected...however temporary that may or may not be.  Also, from some of the times I saw last weekend from amateurs (which I am too), it seems to be in pretty good shape.  A 2:15 in a street legal 3.8 GT3 (minus the tires) is nuts. 

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5 hours ago, Atxracer said:

I know we have been here before but it’s really not that bad. As someone who clearly likes racing, I don’t know what your hard on is with having, arguably, the best race tracks in the country in your back yard.  I drove it since the last time I posted here and T1 is a little annoying. But, nothing major.  T2 is annoying to some but I stay farther left there than most and straighten the first two turns. The esses are fine. At least as much as esses with descending apex’s can be.  And, if you’’re thinking about weeds at that point, you are doing it wrong. T9 sucked but if you eat the curb, it’s much more manageable. T18 does suck...a lot.  The bump was right at the apex and has sent many into the adjacent wall.  Thats my only real complaint.  
 

I will race there in a couple weeks and see how it is after the re-surfacing. But, from what I have seen, they appear to have most things corrected...however temporary that may or may not be.  Also, from some of the times I saw last weekend from amateurs (which I am too), it seems to be in pretty good shape.  A 2:15 in a street legal 3.8 GT3 (minus the tires) is nuts. 

Welp, Tony Kanaan disagrees with you re: the esses. He said they were the bumpiest part of the track and also pointed out that many of the recently repaved areas are still bumpy. 

Thinking about weeds growing up through the track ... when WEC is here, tweeting out pics of them ... is doing it wrong? LOL. OK. It's just another indicator of how COTA does things. That was the point.

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Oh, and when COTA was built, it was one of the best tracks in the country. If you think it's still the best track though, I can't help you. I've only been on three other circuits. All are among the best-loved circuits in the world, are much older than COTA, and are in impeccable condition. COTA isn't even close to them now, and there are numerous other well-loved circuits around the U.S. and North America that are in great shape, too.

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1 hour ago, wood said:

Oh, and when COTA was built, it was one of the best tracks in the country. If you think it's still the best track though, I can't help you. I've only been on three other circuits. All are among the best-loved circuits in the world, are much older than COTA, and are in impeccable condition. COTA isn't even close to them now, and there are numerous other well-loved circuits around the U.S. and North America that are in great shape, too.

I am more coming from the standpoint of they just don't matter and they don't really hinder that much if you adapt (except 18 but i hear that is fixed).  Everyone is dealing with the same set of conditions.  Now, if it were to the point of being in Harris Hill shape, that's a different story.  At least in my opinion, it's still a great track, arguably one of the best, and one that people literally come from all over the world to drive.  With the elevation, mix between technical parts and high speed parts, it's width, it has a lot going for it. At any rate, I don't think we are going to see eye-to-eye on this one which is cool.  I get where you are coming from, you expect it to be perfect-ish which is your right.  And, it doesn't really bother me that it's not.  To each his own.

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2 hours ago, Atxracer said:

I am more coming from the standpoint of they just don't matter and they don't really hinder that much if you adapt (except 18 but i hear that is fixed).  Everyone is dealing with the same set of conditions.  Now, if it were to the point of being in Harris Hill shape, that's a different story.  At least in my opinion, it's still a great track, arguably one of the best, and one that people literally come from all over the world to drive.  With the elevation, mix between technical parts and high speed parts, it's width, it has a lot going for it. At any rate, I don't think we are going to see eye-to-eye on this one which is cool.  I get where you are coming from, you expect it to be perfect-ish which is your right.  And, it doesn't really bother me that it's not.  To each his own.

I've always thought the layout was fantastic, minus the stadium section. I was one of the first people extolling its virtues to the world. What's sad is the disrepair it's fallen into due to, of course, the soil conditions, but also due to value engineering the drainage system. That led to inadequate drainage and water running under the track, which undermined the engineering solution put in place originally and contributes massively to these problems. Top all that off with no serious attempt to repair the track surface, and no serious attempts to repair the already inadequate - and now apparently damaged again - drainage system that has contributed greatly to the problem. 

I'm coming more from the angle of remembering what the track was and still could be ... that it just doesn't need to be like this, esp with the track having benefited from $200M+ in state subsidies already. If there was a serious race track owner out there, who took care of the circuit and was as serious about having a world class racing circuit as he is about his music venues and soccer team, then the all that tax minety going to them would probably be a lot easier to stomach.

My ultimate concern is that it's headed to the same fate as TWS, and it doesn't have to be that way.

Edited by wood

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6 minutes ago, wood said:

Had a feeling this would be the case. 

November should still be a good time of the year for it. 

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I had read rumors about them taking MotoGP to Indy for our weekend, I guess that's no longer happening.

Boo on this move. Wonder what will happen to our Sunday April 26th Indy race - I bet that's next on the line to be cancelled/moved.

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Anyone hear anything about a bunch of people being let go at COTA?

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1 hour ago, wood said:

Anyone hear anything about a bunch of people being let go at COTA?

I don't have any insiders so wouldn't know.  But no MotoGP and no Indycar certainly can't help their cash flow.

 

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