It’s been almost a decade since the Circuit of the Americas, on acreage southeast of Austin, took the first steps toward its construction. This spring, as it adds its first IndyCar race to the COTA calendar, it takes another significant step in becoming one of the dominant motorsport venues in the United States.
IndyCar, of course, has been a staple of Fort Worth’s Texas Motor Speedway; historically, TMS holds the June weekend immediately after the Indy 500. The Circuit of the Americas, of course, was built to hold the United States Grand Prix, and while COTA has been the host since the first GP in 2012, F1 is not all that COTA does. And with the addition of IndyCar to its menu, the ‘Circuit’ makes its argument for consideration as motorsport’s key showplace in the Southwest – and perhaps in the U.S.
The Circuit of the Americas is “a 3.427-mile (5.515 km) motor racing circuit near Austin, Texas…comprised of twenty turns with an elevation change of 133 feet (41 m).” You won’t, of course, confuse it with the Nurburgring’s Nordschleife; the Texas terrain is an eye full, but it ain’t an Eifel. But there’s far more going on here topographically than at Texas Motor Speedway’s Tarrant County site.
COTA’s IndyCar weekend begins on March 22nd, Muse is in concert on Saturday, March 23rd, and the race starts at 1:30 on Sunday, the 24th. If watching from your garage, the race will be broadcast live on NBC Sports.