Hellmund set to reveal Austin track details

Tavo Hellmund will reveal Austin track details today

Austin promoter Tavo Hellmund is set to reveal details of the venue for the 2012 US GP later today.

There has been much speculation in the Texan media as to the intended site of the Tilke-built track, and the lack of hard information until now has led to some scepticism about the strength of Hellmund’s plans. As previously reported here the circuit will be on a hilly site to the east of the city, not far from the airport, and will have an overview of downtown.

Hellmund recently led a delegation on a visit to the British GP, where it was clear that he has the full support of Bernie Ecclestone, despite suggestions in the paddock that the project might not happen.

“I think part of the problem is that because we are being very careful of releasing details, from the business perspective not from any other reason, is the fact that people are left asking,” Hellmund told me at Silverstone. “When you actually have the deal done, it doesn’t bother you. I could care less what people say, we’re getting the deal done.

“I think probably we’re going to release the land site, so everyone knows where it is. To stop the speculation, we’re going to need to do that. We’ll also introduce some of our key players from the communications side, from an investors’ side, so that the public – who seem to be so curious – understand this is really a world class group that’s been put together, with experience form the NFL and NBA.”

He said he had a good reason to withhold track details until now: “It’s not because we don’t want to, but because the FIA and FOM need to know the layout as well.”

13 Comments

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13 responses to “Hellmund set to reveal Austin track details

  1. Tom Chiverton

    If it was a ‘world class group’ Tilke wouldn’t be designing it.

    We don’t need another identi-kit featureless concreate waste land, tyvm.

    • Prisoner Monkeys

      There aren’t many firms who can built world-class racing circuits. Apex Circuit design is the only other full-time firm that does it (at least that I know of; Populous did the Silverstone upgrade, but that was their only piece of circuit design to date), and even if they got the contract, they’d still be bound by the same regulations and constraints as Tilke. You have to keep in mind that Tilke must build a circuit that is within the FIA’s rules and regulations, otherwise he’s just wasted half a billion dollars. And then there’s the shape of the land he’s been allocated – he don’t get to choose it. Take Hockenheim for example: it’s pretty obvious that he had to treat the old circuit as a boundary.

      From the sounds of things, Tike was given a blank sheet of paper for Austin and told “Go nuts – we’ll worry about the diligence later”. The difference between Austin and, say, Shanghai is that the Austin circuit is owned by racers, people who understand the sport. Not some faceless, bureaucratic monstrosity who only want a race because it gives them an international event.

      • What an excellent analysis. I don’t understand this anti-Tilke campaign that people wage. He always has rules, paymasters and location compromises to deal with. As you say, there are few others who can do it anyway, and there haven’t exactly been any amazing new venues built by anyone else in the last 10-15 years. The real problem is that so many of his tracks are in shitty places. Not his fault…

      • Tom Chiverton

        Well, there is some hope then… there have been circuits recently that show you can have the fans close to the track, and also do away with acres of safe run off… we’ll see.
        Waiting for that call 🙂

      • bosyber

        PM, that was my hope too.

        With the previously seen new tracks the owners were mainly interested in something that shows their country to be rich, clever, and knowing about having VIPs around. Tilke has shown, for example with Turkey, or Malaisia, that he knows how to build a good track, even within stringent FIA rules.

        Given the Austin track is going to be built for a racing public, and by people that like racing, Tilke should have much better conditions to design a good track first, and a great environment second, and as a support act for the on-track action.

      • Doesn’t Tilke also have restraints with regards to designing sections of circuits that are conducive to good advertising spaces?

      • Prisoner Monkeys

        I’ve never heard of that, Leigh. I’d say it’s a conspiracy waged by the anti-Tilke faculty. My point is that you cannot simply change the designer of the circuit and expect that we’ll suddenly get a glut of excelent circuits. Like I said with Hockenheim: he obviously had to build within the infield of the old circuit, and given the size and shape of it, there was never a hell of a lot that he could do with it.

        Occasionally, Tilke lucks out and gets a good piece of land. Sepang and Istanbul stand out as his best circuits, and they’re obviously sculpted to the terrain. But the likes of Yas Marina and Shangahi are built on featureless reclaimed tracts of land. Tilke doesn’t get to choose where he builds – the land is set aside for him by someone else. He has to do the best he can with what he’s given, and in that respect I think he actually does quite well.

        Besides, you need some variation in your calendar. You cannot have a season comprised of twenty Monzas or twenty Spas, just as you cannot have a calendar made up of twenty Monacos. You need to have a mix, otherwise it becomes a case of the teams building a car that is only good under certain conditions (like downforce).

  2. CarlitosF1

    Hi Adam, just found this blog, nice insights!!!

    I heard some comments a few weeks ago about the track layout that sounded promising: elevation changes, challenging turns and so on.

    Are we getting to know anything else about the layout today?

  3. Stovall

    I still can’t help but have a bit of USF1-style lingering doubt that this will happen. This guy wants it bad. Bernie wants it bad. But it takes so much more than that to pull it off before 2012.

    But what do I know, right? We’ll find out the Devil in the details within the next 24 hours or so… Hopefully!

  4. BJ

    On the news broadcast last night KXAN TV said that they will stream the broadcast on their website.
    http://www.kxan.com/

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