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      01-21-2018, 03:43 PM   #1
CrazyT
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2018 F1 USGP in Austin - Tips?

Hello all. I'm making plans to attend the USGP at COTA this year, and never have been there, looking for tips and suggestions. I've been to the Canadian GP twice and had a blast, and enjoyed how Montreal had it figured out with getting everyone to the race with their subway system, but TX is a different beast and would like some experienced opinions.

Best grandstand to sit at? I do prefer to be where the action is at (likely turn 1), but also like to see them at speed, so maybe near turn 3-5?

How to get back and forth from the event? I do plan on going at least sat and sun. We already have a hotel reservation near the airport, but may be staying with a friend that lives in Austin. What is the preffered way to get to the track?

There was a thread on this a couple years ago, but figured that it's a relatively new track there may be others that now have something to share. The info I got from that thread is summarized below. Any additional?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blipit_ View Post
Turn 1 is good for the start of the race. Turn 15 grandstands is always my recommendation to see the most action. More merch and hospitality stuff at turn 15 complex.

Spend a day Fri or Sat to walk the entire track, a lot of places to sit in grass and watch different areas of the track.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasZed4MC View Post
Let me see if I can help. I have driven the track and been all over the facility.
I would buy GENERAL ADMISSION. That ticket lets you walk around all over the track. You don't have to be tied to one specific spot.
Take a shuttle to the track and back. You better get your hotel rooms NOW, the prices are going to be absurd also. I am guessing around $200 a night just for a Holiday Inn Express room. If the Longhorns are playing football that weekend at home also you WILL NOT be staying in Austin ANYWHERE. Be prepared to stay as far as San Antonio or Waco.
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Originally Posted by rad doc View Post
High up in turn 12 is great. Been there every year.
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Originally Posted by David70 View Post
We stayed in San Antonio (Westin and points) and drove directly to the track, not to a shuttle location. Parking was $200 total for the 3 days. Walked around on Saturday (didn't go on Friday). Basically tailgated before and after the race, couldn't see a good reason to jump in the car and sit for an hour barely moving.
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      01-21-2018, 06:25 PM   #2
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I donít know about hotels. I live about 90 minutes from the track. I park on lot F in front of main entrance. I do GA and move about. No drinks or food allowed in through the gates. Eat before you leave the car. Those food lines are long. I did this turn for Motogp last year. I think it was turn 13. Cold as heck.
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      01-21-2018, 11:13 PM   #3
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Section 115 is awesome
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      01-22-2018, 01:29 AM   #4
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I've done GA and I've enjoyed it from my friend's suites. I honestly cannot say one is better than the other, it's fun either way. But is it me, or is attendance steadily going downhill at every event at COTA? I saw the other day they let you drive your bicycle on there now every Tuesday for $5. Lol.
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      01-22-2018, 01:40 AM   #5
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Turn 15 is the business. Do yourself a favor though and wander around the whole track as well, it's a lot of fun and a lot of things to see. Just remember to hydrate if it's anything like it was this year. Also the giant corndogs are excellent.
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      01-22-2018, 06:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P1et View Post
I've done GA and I've enjoyed it from my friend's suites. I honestly cannot say one is better than the other, it's fun either way. But is it me, or is attendance steadily going downhill at every event at COTA? I saw the other day they let you drive your bicycle on there now every Tuesday for $5. Lol.
Few factors on attendance. The cars are not loud enough. Many people have thrown in the towel. Also that rain year didnít do anyone any favors either. I stayed home with tickets and watched it on tv. <óGreat decision.
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      01-22-2018, 09:32 AM   #7
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Can't bring you own food or drink? They need even more of my money over the ticket prices? Shiiiiiiiit. It was great at the Canadian GPs, bring a cooler with lunch, snacks, drinks and just sit there watching racing all day long.
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      01-22-2018, 10:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyT View Post
Can't bring you own food or drink? They need even more of my money over the ticket prices? Shiiiiiiiit. It was great at the Canadian GPs, bring a cooler with lunch, snacks, drinks and just sit there watching racing all day long.
This type of idiocy just might relate to the Canadian GP's attendance (a record 2017 crowd) and COTA's 4.5% head count decline in 2017.

https://f1destinations.com/2017-f1-attendance-figures/
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      01-22-2018, 10:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyT View Post
Can't bring you own food or drink? They need even more of my money over the ticket prices? Shiiiiiiiit. It was great at the Canadian GPs, bring a cooler with lunch, snacks, drinks and just sit there watching racing all day long.
I love that you can bring almost anything into Montreal too, but 9/11 happened in the US, not Canada, so there's significantly more security presence at COTA vs Montreal. Plus the ever-present capitalism in the US

Nothing is cheap at COTA BTW; still relatively new so they want to re-coup their investment ASAP. Hopefully they wake up especially since IMSA dropped them from the schedule
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      01-22-2018, 12:00 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by pseto View Post
....but 9/11 happened in the US, not Canada, so there's significantly more security presence at COTA vs Montreal....
Can't buy into the 9-11 reason....there are plenty of US tracks where it's no problem taking food and drink into the stands.
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      01-22-2018, 01:27 PM   #11
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Pray the after-effects of a hurricane don't blow through that weekend.

I actually felt wetter than I would if I was submerged...
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      01-22-2018, 03:32 PM   #12
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Pray the after-effects of a hurricane don't blow through that weekend.

I actually felt wetter than I would if I was submerged...
Oh god I hope not. I remember watching that on TV that year, what a mess. However, I live in Puerto Rico and I think mother nature owes me a hurricane free year this summer. Lets hope so....
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      01-22-2018, 03:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyT View Post
Best grandstand to sit at? I do prefer to be where the action is at (likely turn 1), but also like to see them at speed, so maybe near turn 3-5?
Turn 15 is probably the best place to see the most action, but is also one of the more expensive grandstands. Personally, I like Turn 12 because you get nearly the same view as 15, but it's about half the price! Turn 12 is at the end of the back straight, so lots of passing there, and some excellent battles through the entire 12-15 complex. As mentioned already, on Friday and Saturday plan to walk around the track and watch the support series from different locations (your grandstand ticket will allow you access to all the general admission area as well). Turn 1 is iconic, and the 3-6 sweepers are cool to see as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyT View Post
How to get back and forth from the event? I do plan on going at least sat and sun. We already have a hotel reservation near the airport, but may be staying with a friend that lives in Austin. What is the preffered way to get to the track?
If you can get a parking pass, I'd recommend doing that. Find the lot closest to your seats and buy it. My wife and I took the shuttle, but the drop-off point was still about a mile away from the track entrance and $25/day/person so the savings were not great either.
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