First Timer’s Guide to United SportsCar™ at COTA

lonestarWhether you’ve been to a Le Mans race, a Formula One™ race or even a World Endurance Championship™, you have NEVER been to the all new, highly anticipated Lone Star Le Mans series at Circuit of The Americas!

How do we know you’ve never been before? That’s because on Sept. 20, 2014, Circuit of The Americas™ in Austin, Texas will host the second FIA World Endurance Championship’s (WEC) 6 Hours of COTA in conjunction with the debut of the ISMA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship™ for what will be a Texas-sized celebration of sports car racing!

Get Hyped!

The Lone Star Le Mans will feature one of the largest collections of world-class, professional sports car teams and drivers scheduled to race in North America, all in one day. This prestigious new series will include different varieties from the best of international endurance racing, similar to the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France.

Lone Star Le MAns

Drivers from the FIA WEC and TUDOR Championship series will race back-to-back into the night under the lights for the very first time at Circuit of The Americas. Oh, and did we mention up to 180 unique sports cars will be on track throughout the weekend, with famous drivers like TV star Patrick Dempsey and former Formula 1™ driver Mark Webber!

FACT: This is the only time both series will compete at the same track on the same day in 2014, and it’s the only North American stop for the FIA World Endurance Championship this year.

Your Ultimate First Timer’s Guide

Wouldn’t it be marvelous if there were a guide on how to be the best parent, or a guide on how to throw the perfect pitch, or even a guide for first timer’s attending United SportsCar and WEC? Oh wait, there is! It must be your lucky day, ladies and gentlemen, because we are about to give you the inside spiel for your Lone Star Le Mans weekend.

United SportsCar Championship Circuit

For starters, you will be a VIP (not that you aren’t already), but you will be “those people” at the race. You will have a dual ticket that grants you access to the Paddock Club, endless views of the track and Texas skyline, meet-and-greet with racing legend Townsend Bell, arranged ground transportation, and hotel accommodations.

Now that you understand your “status,” it’s time you understand more about the series. Unlike other races, the United SportsCar Championship and WEC are a completely different world. Between the rules, regulations and types of cars allowed to compete, it’s easy for a rookie, such as yourself, to get overwhelmed and frustrated with what exactly is going.

For more details on the rules, take a look at our United SportsCar Series for Rookies, which includes the following:

In addition to knowing the rules about the track, it’s also important to understand the different classes of cars. There are four different classes in the United SportsCar Championship series, two sports prototype categories and two grand tourer classes:

  • Prototype (P) class, combining GRAND-AM's Daytona Prototypes plus the ALMS' P2 and DeltaWing car.

  • Prototype Challenge (PC), retained from the current ALMS class structure.

  • GT Le Mans (GTLM), consisting of the ALMS' current GT class.

  • GTD (GT Daytona), consisting of GRAND-AM's, GT class and the ALMS' current GTC class

The Circuit

You wouldn’t dare book a lavish getaway to the islands without knowing where you were staying or what to do while your there, would you? Of course not! On Mar. 18, 2014, Circuit of The Americas was nominated as one of four finalists for the prestigious “Sports Facility of the Year” award.

The new, state-of-the-art track hosts several of the most prestigious racing events in the world, including MotoGP™, V8 Supercars series, Formula 1 United States Grand Prix, and obviously United SportsCar/WEC.

The Circuit

The 20-turn, counter-clockwise track, was designed with inspiration from the best circuits around the world. It also takes advantage of the site's natural topography to include dramatic elevation changes of up to 40 metres.

“The circuit took inspiration from several famous circuits worldwide.”

Turn One, features a steep, uphill run which is the facility’s most sought after view and seating. Turns three through six have been designed as an homage to the Maggots, Becketts, Chapel complex at Silverstone. Other recognizable designs include turns 12-14, which reminiscent of Hockenheim's stadium section and the triple apex stretch, and turns 16-18 has been modeled after Istanbul Park's turn eight. All these turns can get confusing, so with that being said, take a look at the HD 360 tour of the track! 

The City of Austin!

Not only is the track a great place to experience racing, but it’s located in a rockin’ city! Austin is known as The Live Music Capital of the World®.

The city’s lifeblood is the local music community. From the local bands, to major festivals like SXSW, Fun Fun Fun Fest and the Austin City Limits Music Festival, the music scene is easy to find plus nearly 200 venues offer rock, blues, jazz, hip hop, punk or Latino shows nightly!

THE CIRCUIT

If it’s nightlife you’re looking for, you’ll find that here too. The most popular area is 6th Street, also known as Pecan Street. It is full of older, historical buildings that were converted into bars, art galleries, music venues and cafes. This is where Austin comes alive after dark.

For the more outdoorsy, adventurous individuals, Austin has 300 annual days of glorious sunshine and an average temperature of around 70 degrees, can you say yes please!? Not to mention, Austin has also been named among the top U.S destinations for lovers of the outdoors. With numerous trails for biking, hiking and natural cave exploration you’re sure to have a one-of-a-kind getaway.

What do I Need?

The question on everyone’s mind, especially the ladies! Considering the race is in Texas… in September…. It will be a wee bit toasty. Pack lose, light clothes that will keep you cool, but fabulous! You don’t want to be getting your picture taken in that cut-off tee and jorts while standing next to a Porsche or Audi, would you? NOPE!

This is THE series of the year, between the world’s hottest race cars, the famous Grand Prix circuit, the city, and the Paddock, how could it not be the event of the year and YOU are going!

Be There!

Though Circuit of The Americas Experiences you will be a part of the ultimate racing weekend. Let’s recap why it will be so awesome. The weekend will be complete with a dual ticket to access the Paddock Building, amazing views, VIP experiences, racing legend meet-and-greet with Townsend Bell, arranged ground transportation, and hotel accommodations.

WEC Driver Appearance Townsend Bell

Pack your bags and your need to no longer be a rookie because you’re about to embark on a one-of-a-kind racing experience! Now, go forth my Lone Star Le Mans first timers! Take the weekend by storm and show them your there to make memories of a lifetime!

See the United SportsCar  Championship Live at COTA!
 

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