Circuit of the Americas Preview

cota_birdsIn just a few short days, the ROUSH Performance road racing team will be beginning its 2015 season on the pavement of Austin, Texas’ Circuit of the Americas (a.k.a. COTA).  Though the track is still very young, having been completed in 2012, it has quickly become one of the pinnacle race tracks of North America.  COTA is the first purpose-built Formula 1 track in the United States and is already building a history of its own — hosting not only Formula 1, but also Pirelli World Challenge, IMSA, MotoGP, the X Games, and more.

The track is 3.4 miles long with 20 turns.  Having so many turns would alone suggest that the track is challenging, but there’s more to it that makes this course difficult.  There are multiple sequences of turns that have the following:

  • Elevation changes that make the sequence impossible to see ahead of time.
  • Lack of landmarks/references within the turns to help guide where you are.
  • The sequences of turns have multiple changes in angles that require adjustments for upcoming sections that are out of view.

Image showing complexity of turns 1 – 11

As a result of these features, COTA is arguably one of the most technically challenging courses in North America.  So, what’s the best way to prepare for such an intricate race course?  Really, it’s the same as any other — practice, and lots of it.  Unfortunately, we were not able to go to this track ahead of time.  Luckily, Jack Jr. has had experience here, having raced at COTA in IMSA’s Continental Tire Series in 2013.  To help further, Jack Jr. has been studying COTA with (a highly advanced racing simulator software) as well, as he does for virtually all of the tracks that the team goes to.

Event Details

All times given in Central Time.

Saturday, March 7, 2015
8:00-8:15am       Qualifying
12:20-1:30pm     Race #1

Sunday, March 8, 2015
10:20-11:35am   Race #2

For more details, go to

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