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DATE News (chronologically)
08/21/11
f1
Video: Red Bull F1 car roars through streets of Austin  Downtown Austin buzzed Saturday morning with the high-pitch scream of a Formula One car.

The car, Red Bull Racing's running show car, was on streets north of the Capitol for a few hours for a promotional video on the sport's planned return to the United States at a track in southeastern Travis County next year.

In what could be an iconic image, the car, driven by Scottish driver David Coulthard , made several passes up Congress Avenue toward the Capitol — on some runs turning a doughnut or two in front of the pink dome — and then back to its mechanics at 17th Street.

Several cameras on the street shot the car, and a helicopter circled overhead getting shots from above.

"It's a showcase of different elements of Texas and Austin," said Jordan Miller, a spokesman for Red Bull's Media House. "We want to get a race car and put it in atypical locations. It's always fun to get it off the racetrack."

Red Bull plans to release the video on its websites, social media and other platforms in mid-September, Miller said.

Although the shoot was closed to the public, about 200 curious people stood behind barriers to watch. Coulthard obliged with a series of doughnuts at the end of shooting.

"Awesome," said Austinite Tim Shaffer, who watched the shoot with his 8-year-old son Ethan. "The sound of the car is unlike anything else."

His son agreed.

"I liked how fast it was and how loud it was," Ethan said.

Red Bull Racing has several show cars that it uses for demonstrations around the world, a team official said. Some without engines are used in static displays, while two others are driven for videos and moving demonstrations, including recently in Sochi, Russia, and at Munich's Olympic Stadium.

The car in Austin this weekend was a 2005 chassis with modified aerodynamic parts, and although current F1 cars use V8 engines, this one had a V10 engine, Miller said.

The shooting was not done in conjunction with Circuit of the Americas, the racetrack under construction southeast of Austin where F1 races are planned for 10 years, but circuit officials were at the shoot.

"Red Bull's filming is a global promotion for the city of Austin, but it also gives Austinites a chance to see the car, hear it run and see the performance," circuit Executive Vice President Bruce Knox said. "People can understand the professionalism of the team, the focus on technology, the focus on safety."

Coulthard, a former F1 driver who is a pundit for Great Britain's BBC, said he had been nervous about F1's return the United States. The problems that the sport had when it was last run in America at Indianapolis, including a controversial race in 2005 in which only six of the 20 cars competed out of tire concerns, "didn't really enhance Formula One's reputation," he said.

"When they said Austin, I had no idea what Austin represented and Texas and why it would work," Coulthard said. "And now I completely get it. This is a vibrant venue, it's a young venue, and there's a real understanding here of European events and world affairs in the people that I've come across..

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