After a five year hiatus, Formula One is headed back to the United States and their return was christened with a brand new race track in Austin, Texas. The Circuit of the Americas is a 3.4 miles race track with 20 turns and a 133-feet elevation change. Formula One’s contract begins in 2012 and, currently, doesn’t end until 2021.
The long and arduous task of building the new world-class, 3.4-mile racetrack in Austin, Texas took a positive turn after track officials officially unveiled the circuit’s name. From here on out, the racetrack will be called the ‘Circuit of the Americas’.
Now that that’s been settled, the important part of actually building the track before it hosts the 2012 Formula One U.S. Grand Prix continues on. Earlier this year, the site from where the track will rise officially broke ground, kicking off a tight and busy 18 months to build the track before it opens to racing.
The Circuit of the Americas will be the latest race track to open in the US, one that is expected to host other racing events apart from Formula One. In fact, executives announced that the track will also host MotoGP starting in 2013. It is still unclear whether the Circuit of the Americas will be the third US track on the MotoGP schedule, or if it will replace the Indianapolis Motor Speedway which does not have a contract set up for 2012 or 2013.
In addition to running 3.4 miles, the circuit also features 20 turns, a 133-feet elevation change, and most importantly for stability and business reasons, a 10-year contract with Formula One.
Seeing as the 2011 F1 seasons just kicked off, it seems like there’s plenty of time for the Circuit of the Americas to be completed. But given how a Formula One season runs as fast as the cars that compete in them, 2012 will be just around the corner in no time.
Let’s just hope that by then, the Circuit of the Americas will have more than just an official name to show for it.