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DATE News (chronologically)
09/01/10
f1
Austin's US GP track layout revealed UPDATE
This map shows elevation changes of circuit
Hellmund, head of Full Throttle Productions, unveiled the track layout Tuesday in a meeting with the American-Statesman.

The 3.4-mile track has 20 turns, a maximum elevation change of 133 feet, a back straightaway that is three-quarters of a mile long and a width that will vary between 39 and 52 feet.

Hellmund said the F1 cars should be able to reach a top speed of 200 mph on the track.

He also estimated the cars might be roaring by the grandstand at 180 mph on their way to a tight, uphill corner at Turn 1, one of the highest points on the track. Hellmund said Turn 1 could be the circuit's signature corner and that it would also be one of the four designed spots to give drivers their best chance for passing, or overtaking as it's called in F1.

"Everybody will pull out and probably go three-wide into that braking turn," Hellmund said.

Unlike some NASCAR races, there's typically not much passing in an F1 Grand Prix. Some F1 fans blame that situation on Tilke GmbH, the German engineering firm that has designed most of the sport's modern circuits and is also overseeing the U.S. Grand Prix project.

Hellmund said the cars themselves are more to blame for the single-file racing than the engineers.

"They're so on the ragged edge that it's hard to pass," Hellmund said.

He said the best way to create such opportunities is with a good straightaway that leads to a turn with more than a 45-degree angle. Hellmund said that's the plan for turns 11, 12 and 20.

In addition, turns 3, 4, 5 and 6 and will be a nod to the Maggots/Becketts section at Silverstone in England, and turns 12, 13, 14 and 15 will have the feel of the Hockenheimring in Germany.

There's also a shout-out to Istanbul Turn 8 in turns 16, 17 and 18.

"It will be similar to one gigantic turn," Hellmund said of that sequence.

Hellmund said fans should be able to see plenty of action from most of the turns and straightaways.

"They will all offer good viewing because of the (changes in) elevation," he said.

The U.S. Grand Prix circuit is slated to be built on a 900-acre tract southeast of Austin and could hold 130,000 to 140,000 fans.

Austin's first U.S. Grand Prix is slated for 2012. December has been mentioned as a possible starting date for construction.

"I don't want to put a date on it. Everybody is hustling and bustling," said Hellmund, who said construction would begin as quickly as possible. The Statesman

09/01/10
(GMM)  The layout of Austin's formula one track has finally emerged.

Featuring 133 feet of elevation changes, it was revealed by 2012 US grand prix promoter Tavo Hellmund to the local American Statesman newspaper.

The 3.4 mile Hermann Tilke-designed track will reportedly have a 200mph maximum speed, a long back straight, and some corners that resemble famous F1 tracks.

"It should be nice," Hellmund said as he looked over the plans.  "I think drivers and fans should really like it."

According to the Associated Press, Hellmund said F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone also "likes it".

He said the layout includes three ideal overtaking places, and sections that resemble Silverstone's Backetts, the Stadium section at Hockenheim, and Turn 8 in Turkey.

"It will be similar to one gigantic turn," Hellmund said of the Istanbul-esque section.

It has been reported that construction of the circuit southeast of Austin could begin in December.

"I don't want to put a date on it.  Everybody is hustling and bustling," said Hellmund.

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