m4ff3w
m4ff3w UltraDork
11/18/13 5:07 p.m.

I happened to get invited to the USGP by my sister-in-law. My wife, boy, girl, and myself went up and arrived at the track on Friday.

They had a spot in the "Premium RV" area. It was great, they have the spot for entertaining clients and employees. Even though we were just freeloaders, we had access all the bbq and drinks we wanted. The setup was amazing.

We went and hung out in the stands during one of the practice sessions.

On Race day, we climbed on top of the RV

Vettel was fast, I was hoping Grosjean would catch him.

But alas, he did not.

After the race we decided to see what we could get away with

We went into the infield where they were loading up the hardware.

We saw a truck exiting the track and took the cart in that direction. The person closing the gate stopped us, said we couldn't go in. "Why not?" we asked, they asked who we were with and we told them Infiniti (not exactly true - although we do have a Nissan in the family) and were waved through.

On pit lane, we saw some girls holding a piece of hardware. I asked if we could snap a picture. She obliged.

We then decided to see if we could get away with driving off Pit Lane and onto the track.

We were successful. We then proceeded to take the slowest lap around COTA.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfxrZHNkPgg&feature=youtu.be

17 minutes and a few beers later, we were back in Pit Lane.

We all had to use the pissah, so we decided to look for one. The nearest one we could find was in the Paddock. Unfortunately my camera died at this point.

We all used the restroom and then thought what else would be cool? The others in our group snapped some more pics of the boy and I messing with some used tires, took a pic with a member of the Lotus pit crew, and then noticed all the suites for the teams. Lotus is my favorite, so we just walked in and looked around. I ate some lemon start thingies saw piles of computer equipment off to a room on the right, and then we noticed a lady looking at us oddly. We made our way out at that moment.

In the garages, we saw a Red Bull car being disassembled and packed up, we walked towards the garage entrance and were promptly stopped. We were told we couldn't enter the garage and had to stay in the walkway area of the paddock.

Hopefully I'll get the pics of us in the paddock and I'll post them. It truly was the most epic weekend I could imagine.

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
11/18/13 5:14 p.m.

Dude, epic! I love wandering around to see where I can get into, but man the "victory lap" probably can't be topped.

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed Dork
11/18/13 5:20 p.m.

You have redefined the word epic! The only thing better than getting to do what you did was to have your family and son there, and you did that too! The stars aligned for you that day.

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill Dork
11/18/13 10:28 p.m.

jealous on so man levels man

That video is stinking awesome, love the soundtrack

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson PowerDork
11/19/13 8:44 a.m.

Damn, that was cool, great pics too, better than mine. I was there with some local friend and also met up with Tom Spangler. I watched the Historic race from turn 18 where you could see turns 17, 18, 19 and 1. Then moved to the hairpin (Turn 11) to meet with with Tom for the Ferrari Demo derby and the the GP. Good viewing, but you don't get the impression of speed. Hoping for some VIP seats next year.

Historics

Shot from turn 11 zoomed in looking across to main area, this is the morning so the grandstands are still filling up

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson PowerDork
11/19/13 8:46 a.m.

Start of the Spec Pinyata, sorry Ferrari scrap heap challenge:

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson PowerDork
11/19/13 8:49 a.m.

Chopper filming the filming of the National anthem atop the big ass tower

Flyover

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson PowerDork
11/19/13 8:54 a.m.

RoGro

Award for a great color scheme, pity about the pace

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler Dork
11/19/13 9:00 a.m.

All I had with my was my phone, so I don't have any pictures that are worth a damn. But here's a panoramic I took from the turn 9 grandstand on Saturday.

The race was a bit of a snoozer, but COTA is an amazing track and facility. It seems a bit incongruous to have a world-class F1 track sort of dropped in the middle of nowheresville Texas ranch land, I have to say. But I have nothing but good things to say about it and the Austin area in general. I had a great time.

m4ff3w
m4ff3w UltraDork
11/19/13 9:29 a.m.

Thanks for the pics, we missed this historics as we were trying to con our way into the paddocks the first time, in which we were unsuccessful.

kreb
kreb SuperDork
11/19/13 9:33 a.m.

Great story and shots. Love that tower. Too bad the red stripe isn't a slide!

There's a great (true) story about a guy who snuck into every Kentucky Derby for 40 years or something like that. He's even ended up in the victory circle being photographed with the winners party. I think that he'd give a thumbs up to your effort!

DukeOfUndersteer
DukeOfUndersteer UltimaDork
11/19/13 9:49 a.m.

I was there a couple months ago with Porsche Cup, support for the FIA WEC and ALMS race. That track is second to none! Truly, a World Class facility.

We also made a slow lap, sharing it with the WEC teams as they did the track walk. In the process, we saw a slew of ex-F1 drivers. The astro terf has a surprising amount of grip!

trigun7469
trigun7469 Reader
11/19/13 10:04 a.m.

Looks like a blast, I heard from someone else that the crowd was bigger then the Nascar race in Homestead.

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