November 9th, 2012, 04:11 PM #81
So my wife just got a call from the Super 8 in austin, seems they've had a problem with our reservation and would like to offer us equivalent accommodations....
This aught to be good.
November 20th, 2012, 07:07 AM #82
Just made it back to a computer from the race. Not sure if anyone else here went but here was our observations:
First of all our "equivalent accommodations" turned out to be the travelodge at highland mall. Having lived in Austin before we thought well the location is good. Problem is the mall is abandoned and everything around it is dying. So at check in there was a cockroach 2" long just chilling in the lobby, we think he was the assistant manager. After that we go to our room and outside the building there's 3 guys hanging by a car parked sideways at the building entrance. We're like whatever and we head up the stairs where on our way to the rooms a door opens and it takes us 0.1 seconds to realize its a hooker and the three guys downstairs were her backup. In the rooms it was about as you can expect but the kickers were in our room the bifolding mirrored closet door was ordered about 2" longer than the space so it couldn't close. In my parents room they didn't even have a door. We soldiered on though since it's not as though there was much else available. The next night when we came back we met what we figured was the hotel mascot which we named Herbie, he was just crusing down the halls:
Guy was a good foot long rat but he was fuzzy. My wife went tearing down the hall to get the pic. Needless to say we don't recommend the place.
For the race experience itself:
Track is beautiful, they did a great job there. Fans were awesome. We had a parking pass and driving in all three days was pretty easy. Getting around was not overly hard but the elevation changes on the track will give you a heck of a workout depending on where you want to go. From what I hear the shuttle buses worked out well enough with the only problems being leaving the track after the race which I think everyone expected. We were fortunate to be parked near our exit at the parking lot and it helped alot. The General admission tickets had lots of locations to select a berm to see the track, turns 1, 11 and 19 had especially good viewing area's we thought (we were in grandstand at turn 2)
The problems that arose were the typical for any first time experience. They had massive electrical and data communications problems so even though they had a thousand atms few of them worked. Of course since all the networks were down none of the vendors could take credit cards. They never solved this one. Also they had 4g cell towers up but if you were on 3g you were screwed. As usual by raceday even the 4g was spotty.
On Friday for whatever reason about half the tracks food concession stands couldn't open because sudexo couldn't deliver food to them. Only people that had food were vendors that brought it in themselves in the complex from turn 12 to 19. This caused a massive migration to the other side of the track for food so moving around sucked. The other random issues were they weren't actually scanning tickets at the gate so I don't know how they came up with their attendance info. It seemed like there were more than 65k though. They were manning all the grandstands though so if you didn't have a ticket it was to the berms.
On Saturday they solved the food and it appeared to flow pretty easily comparatively. We got in quickly and out quickly. The crowd was definitely more out of towners and less alcoholic than the previous day. Qualifying ended early enough to get back to town and check things out so we did although Collective soul was playing at the track. We just couldn't hang after the previous nights festivities.
On Raceday traffic was "worse" but only in that the general admissions people all got to the track very early to stake out there places. We still made it in within 5 minutes of our usual commute time. Concession lines got really bad fairly early but the porches and the ferrari's put on a good show as a warmup. Driver parade was hilarious they were using cars from the local car club and 2 wouldn't start and another started dropping fluid on the track. Race itself was very cool and it was very easy to tell when people pitted and we saw a great pass from Kimi on the force india right in front of us as they drag raced into the esses. Leaving the track was rough but really not as bad as it could have been.
For the off track activities the fanfest downtown was pretty awesome. On Friday we went to Fado's to watch Will Buxton do a karaoke event for charity. He sang my monkey and it was pretty awesome. There were some definite ringers in the crowd singing. Totally random story I was in the pisser and there was only one urinal, as I turned around from washing my hands there was Will waiting to go next. I gave him a high ten and we chatted for a moment. Felt a little bad after that I didn't dry my hands first, but at least I washed them.
On Saturday we cruised the downtown hotels like the omni and the intercontinental. There were some nice cars in the lobbys and events going on in them but you had to be creative to poke around.
Overall I would say its a good race experience, the weather and enthusiasm helped. They definitely gouged for everything near downtown and at the hotels. Rain would be a problem as most of the track paths are connected by decomposed granite/limestone. The drivers like the track though so hopefully the crowds will keep coming. If anyone has any specific questions let me know.
Bigger Herbie photo below:
November 30th, 2012, 07:59 AM #83
Oh man Kimi has got to be the best driver out there to drink a beer with. Not sure who made this but I'm dying over here.
December 7th, 2012, 01:55 PM #84
December 16th, 2012, 06:49 AM #85
Nice write up on the Austin track, thanks.
December 18th, 2012, 07:50 AM #86
Merry Christmas From Kimi
January 29th, 2013, 04:15 PM #87
Lotus unveiled their new car, Kimi looks like he's doing his best TeMu impersonation
Here's a good link with a video
Lotus E21 | Racecar Engineering
February 4th, 2013, 01:55 PM #88
gotta say this newey kid, he might be onto something
another great write up, although as always details are sparse
Red Bull RB9 | Racecar Engineering
February 20th, 2013, 01:03 PM #89
March 1st, 2013, 10:40 AM #90