Roundup: F1-Week Travel, Parking, Volunteers – and Monaco

News about travel, tickets, hotel shuttles, getting to the Circuit of the Americas, and general logistics is hitting the media outlets this week. A draft Formula One weekend schedule and traffic plan with information about park-and-ride locations and estimated travel times has been shared by KVUE, a local news station. The Austin Business Journal and YNN News discussed some of the cultural differences of incoming F1 fans that restaurants and hotels will experience, similar to our article posted earlier this week. (Links to help foreign visitors secure a visa, passport, and  learn American cultures can be found in our “Traveling to the USA – Visas, Passports, Culture” page.) Let’s take a look at the newly-released proposal for race weekend track access:

Access to the Circuit of the Americas during F1 weekend

Important highlights from the Circuit of the Americas F1 weekend Transportation Plan draft include:

  • Taxis and hotel complimentary shuttle service to and from COTA will not be allowed into the facility. Hotel shuttles will be allowed to shuttle to/from the COTA park-and-ride lots
  • Using shuttle transport will greatly reduce the amount of time to exit the track. Park-and-ride lots in downtown Austin (Waterloo Park) and east Austin (Travis County Expo Center) are likely, in addition to other lots
  • Cash Parking Lots (day of the event) will not be available on-site at COTA
  • Parking permits for RVs could be available early in June
  • Bicycle access route, from downtown Austin is under development
  • People choosing to ride a bicycle to the event will not be able to ride onto COTA property. Bicyclists will be able to park and lock their bikes in a bicycle depot located at the corner of Moore Bridge Rd. and FM 973. From there, bicyclists will be shuttled to the Bus depot lot on McAngus road
  • For those who buy on-site parking: Parking permits will be issued along with the tickets no later than four weeks prior to event.

F1 Week Logistics

A recent article in the Community Impact newspaper discusses logistics for the huge amount of people that will be in town during F1 week.

  • Several hotels are already under construction and will be open in time for F1 visitors.
  • Many hotels are booking groups of rooms for up to 10 days at a time.
  • Organizers expect nearly 300,000 fans, including 120,000 F1 spectators, during race week.
  • The Travis County Sheriff’s office received a request to reserve a major downtown intersection for a private helicopter landing pad (definitely not granted!)
  • Private airports & FBOs (Fixed Base Operators) are preparing for a huge influx of visitors, especially VIPs flying in on private jets or helicopters.
  • This great infographic was included, which is a quick reference for the distance to the Circuit of the Americas from San Marcos, Buda,* & Kyle. See our guide to more hotels in towns near Austin.
Circuit of The Americas to fuel county's economy

San Marcos | Buda | Kyle edition of Community Impact Newspaper -

Seating & views at the Circuit of the Americas, call for volunteers coming soon

Tom Schneider, vice president of Guest Services for Circuit of the Americas, spoke to the city of Pflugerville* in preparation for visitors in this area north of Austin. CoTA is seeking volunteers to be placed around town during F1 weekend, acting as local ambassadors and tour guides for our guests. There will be a volunteer sign-up website launched a few months before the race.

Schneider also discussed the special qualities of this ‘bucket-list’ circuit, including the golf-course-like terrain which will allow people to walk along the trail to see every turn, and great views for almost all levels of ticket-holders.

“It’s truly something special,” Schneider said about the track. “That first turn is the coolest vantage point I’ve ever seen in professional sports. You can see planes coming in almost at eye level.”

While general tickets have yet to go on sale, potential visitors have already begun looking for hotel accommodations both in and around Austin. — via the Pflugerville Pflag*

monaco f1 by danielle crespo

Monaco F1

Best Race Weekend Ever? (Except for this November, of course)

Many long-time motorsports fans are calling this weekend the highlight of the race year. It’s no surprise, with the schedule including the 96th Indy 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the 600-mile NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. But there’s no question that the Monaco Grand Prix is the jewel in all of motor-racing’s calendar. We in Austin realize that the Circuit of the Americas’ host town, Elroy, is about as far from glamorous as you can get (read this humor piece for a better idea of Elroy’s famous yacht harbors) – but there’s not a better chance to watch a race and learn why people who follow Formula One are die-hard fans. And yes, Austin has some very cool events planned for F1 visitors.

If you’re not able to experience the glamor and history IN Monaco, try to find an F1 watch party near your town. Austinites, we’re listing parties on our Austin Race Events Facebook page.

Infographic courtesy of the San Macos | Buda | Kyle edition of Community Impact Newspaper.

* How the heck do you say the names of these towns??

Pflugerville = FLOO-ger-ville. Buda = BYOO-duh.

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