First International SportsCar Weekend draws only 33,591 at COTA Circuit of The Americas three-day crowd of 33,591 for its first International SportsCar Weekend, featuring two of the world’s premier endurance racing series—the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron (ALMS) was disappointing to say the least. If IndyCar raced there instead they would draw that in one day. The F1 crowd dwarfed this.
Soaking rains on Friday, Sept. 20, made for an uncomfortable first day at the track, with only the hardiest of race fans braving the wet weather to check out the open paddock and day-long on-track action, including practice sessions for both ALMS and WEC teams. By Saturday, clouds gave way to sunny skies and near-perfect fall temperatures, allowing patrons to easily enjoy the two feature races, plus the exceptional access to teams and drivers in the open paddock, through autograph sessions, pit walks and grid access following the races. Additionally, fans enjoyed demonstrations by Formula DRIFT and Aaron Colton on his street bike and popular kids festival attractions in the Grand Plaza.
Cumulative attendance for the three days was comparable to the Circuit’s GRAND-AM of The Americas event in March 2013, when 26,648 fans visited the track over two picture-perfect days. In 2014, ALMS will merge with GRAND-AM Road Racing to form the Tudor United SportsCar Championship, thereby uniting sports car racing in the United States under one common banner.
“We’d like to thank our customers and competitors for another great weekend of racing at Circuit of The Americas,” spokeswoman Julie Loignon said. “2013 continues to be a year of firsts for our venue, and to host the best endurance racers in the world, including drivers and teams who have competed in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans, is a tremendous honor. With the merger of the GRAND-AM and ALMS series next year, we see potential to grow the U.S. fan base for sports car racing, and we have the perfect venue to do that. We also want to thank the fans who turned out despite the very soggy conditions on Friday. They showed how much they love motorsports, and we genuinely appreciate their support.”
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