Austin track to feature barbecue pit, possibly hotel

Track site plan features pit for barbecue; hotel is a possibility The U.S. Grand Prix planned for Austin might include an on-site hotel, but the race site will definitely be equipped with a pit for cooking Texas barbecue.

Those are some of the details included in the site improvement plan for the project that was recently filed with Travis County officials. The oversized 170-page document was compiled by Carlson, Brigance & Doering, Inc., a civil engineering and surveying firm hired by the race promoters. The drawings detail the nuts and bolts and pipes and retention ponds planned for the Grand Prix site southeast of Austin, which is scheduled to host a Formula One race beginning in 2012. The document will be reviewed by the Travis County Department of Transportation and Natural Resources, Austin's Planning and Development Review Department, the Travis County Fire Marshal and the Austin Water Utility.

The Austin American- Statesman filed an open-records request to see the plan.

Most of the document, including the pages devoted to drainage ponds, would be of little interest to race fans, but there were a couple of nuggets. One is that there is an area blocked out near the west side of the track for a "possible future hotel."

An on-site hotel might be desired by some F1 fans since possible traffic delays tied to the 2012 race have been estimated as lasting anywhere from three to 12 hours. According to the site plan, the hotel would be located near an entertainment amphitheater and a barbecue stand.

The plans also show a barbecue pit on the east side of the plot, near land that will be restored to the Blackland Prairie that greeted the area's settlers.

Race promoters have not said which hotels might be interested in building near the track or, more importantly, who could be manning the barbecue pit in 2012. The Statesman

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