I remember when I was a kid, my father made one thing clear to me. The pinnacle of motorsports in the world is Formula 1. The engineers are the best in the world, the crews are the best in the world and the equipment is the best in the world. The funding required also is higher than any other motorsports program. Sponsors pay greater sums to be part of F1 than any other series in the world, and Formula 1 only goes to the finest tracks in each country it visits. Everything about the sport was, indeed, the best.
Today, I believe that most of that still holds true, especially the last sentiment: The tracks that Formula 1 visits are without a doubt second to none. As you can imagine, I get to visit the track often for NASA Texas and Championships events. Of course, right here in my backyard is the world-class facility that hosts the United States Formula One Grand Prix, the Circuit of the Americas, or COTA as we refer to it.
COTA consists of 3.4 miles of Hermann Tilke-designed rolling-hill goodness. It’s a phenomenal track to drive. Heck, it’s phenomenal just to look at. Even the tallest tower on the property is an artistic piece. The garage floors are polished. There are multiple camera angles on every corner for race control to keep track of everything. There are literally acres of paved runoff on most parts of the track. And it’s home to Formula 1 here in the United States.
Imagine how excited I am that this year on Memorial Day weekend, May 26-28, 2017, I get to host a NASA Texas event at this world-class facility!
When it was announced that an F1 track was being built in the United States, Jerry Kunzman, Dave Royce and I found a way to get a meeting with the management of the track to talk about doing our Championships event there. We visited on one of the days when the track was being paved. It’s taken a few years, but we’re finally going to get to bring our program to this amazing facility and I couldn’t be more excited about it.
I owe a huge thank you to NASA’s Jeremy Croiset for all his help in securing the longest track rental contract in history. Jeremy was instrumental in making this weekend possible and it wouldn’t be happening without him. Thank you Jeremy, from NASA Texas and all the people already signed up from the 10 NASA regions that will be joining us!
I hope that on Memorial Day weekend you all will join NASA Texas down here in the Lone Star State for what promises to be a pinnacle event in your racing experience.