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US GP Update: Circuit of the Americas completes first track layer


By Berthold Bouman

A lot of good news from the Circuit of the Americas, the host of the American Grand Prix on November 18. On August 2 the circuit reached another milestone: the entire first layer of pavement around the Austin track has been completed, a process called ‘marrying the track’. The crew started at Turn 20, then worked their way through the starting grid and up the hill to Turn 1, from there worked their way around the circuit and have now returned to Turn 20 again, completing the first layer.

Circuit of the Americas construction progress, July 2012

It required a lot of preperation before the first layer could actually be laid, in a statement a circuit official said, “About ten feet of Central Texas clay was excavated the entire length of the track. A black poly material 30 millimeters in thickness was then placed along the length of the excavated portion. This material acts as an envelope for layers of select fill to be placed so that it remains exactly in place.”

Gantries and pedestrian bridges are now finished and work continues on installing the guard rail from Turns 1-15 and from Turns 18-20. The construction team is currently working on finalizing the interior of the pit lane building and the main grandstand on the start-finish line.

According to Circuit President Steve Sexton, the circuit also will install state-of-the-art safety equipment. “Circuit of The Americas was designed to be one of the most sophisticated, innovative facilities of its kind, and making sure our participants and patrons have a fun and safe experience is our No. 1 priority,” he said. “We are making the investment in TecPro Barriers and Geobrugg Fence because they are the very best protective systems used in the motorsports industry, and they will be an important part of our on-track safety program.”

The TecPro barriers will be installed instead of the usual tyre barriers, and the three-layer wall barrier is capable of absorbing the impact of a vehicle travelling at 125 miles per hour while keeping the g-force experienced by the driver to tolerable levels. A debris fence will also be installed, according to the COTA ‘the Geobrugg Debris Fence is the only fencing system worldwide that is fully designed to provide the highest safety and incredible installation speed by virtue of its optimized material and design’.

Circuit of the Americas construction progress, July 2012

More good news as all the general admission tickets are sold-out. Geoff Moore, Chief Marketing Officer at COTA stated, “Worldwide fan interest in the United States Grand Prix has been remarkable, with guests in every U.S. state and 37 foreign countries purchasing tickets since our public sales began three months ago.”

And Moore added, “We’ve allocated the maximum number of tickets we feel comfortable selling in our general admission areas to ensure guests who will be viewing
the races from the grassy berms and numerous public spaces have a great experience and easy access to services and accommodations.”

Tickets for the grandstands are still available, but it is expected those will sell out soon, so if you want to attend the inaugural race on November 18, you can still purchase tickets via the COTA official website: http://www.circuitoftheamericas.com/

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