Circuit of the Americas facts for kids

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Circuit of The Americas
Austin circuit.svg
Full Grand Prix circuit
Location Elroy, Texas, 12 miles (19 km) south of Austin, Texas
Time zone UTC−6 / −5 (DST)
Capacity 120,000
Broke ground December 31, 2010
Opened October 21, 2012
Architect Hermann Tilke
Miró Rivera Architects
Major Events FIA Formula One
United States Grand Prix
(2012–present)
FIM Road Racing World Championship
Grand Prix of the Americas
(2013–present)
FIA World Endurance Championship
6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas
(2013–present)
V8 Supercars
Austin 400
(2013)
American Le Mans Series
International Sports Car Weekend
(2013)
Rolex Sports Car Series
Grand-Am of the Americas
(2013)
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
Lone Star Le Mans
(2014–2017)
Summer X Games
(2014–2016)
Grand Prix Circuit (2012–present)
Circuit Length 3.427 mi (5.513 km)
Turns 20
Lap Record 1:39.347 (Germany Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing, 2012)
Tower at CoTA

Circuit of The Americas (COTA) is a grade 1 FIA specification 3.427-mile (5.515 km) motor racing facility located in Elroy, on the southeastern periphery of Austin city limits, in Central Texas. The circuit has FIA Grade 1 license.

The circuit hosts the United States Grand Prix. Starting in 2013, it will host MotoGP races. It will also host a round of V8 Supercars, an Australia-based touring car racing series, starting in 2013.

The circuit was one of only a handful on the Formula One 2012 calendar to be run counter-clockwise. Because of this, the circuit contains more left-hand turns than right-hand ones, placing greater physical demands on the drivers whose bodies, particularly their necks, are more adapted to the lateral g-forces of clockwise circuits.

Major features on site

Grand Plaza

Bordered by the track on three sides, the Grand Plaza is a 20 acres (0.081 km2) space designed by Miró Rivera Architects of Austin, Texas that includes a large reflecting pool, lawn, and varying landscape zones. A promenade along the north side of the Grand Plaza hosts concessions, retail, restroom facilities, and entrances to spectator seating. From the southeast end of the Grand Plaza, two pedestrian bridges cross over turns 16 and 3 to provide access for visitors to other areas of the circuit complex.

Observation Tower

Circuit of the Americas features a 251 feet (77 m) observation tower. The structure of the tower consists of an elevator hoist-way surrounded by a double helix staircase of 419 stairs, both of which lead to an observation platform 230 feet (70 m) above ground level. The platform provides a 360-degree panorama of the circuit, as well as views to downtown Austin, Texas. The observation platform, which is accessible to the public for an admission fee, can accommodate up to 70 visitors and features glass railings and a partial glass floor.

Lap records

Event Class Time Car/bike
2012 United States Grand Prix F1 1:39.347 Red Bull RB8
2015 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas LMP1 1:47.412 Porsche 919 Hybrid
2013 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas LMP2 1:54.559 Oreca 03
2013 Grand-Am of The Americas DP 2:00.026 Corvette
2013 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas LM GTE 2:03.520 Ferrari 458 Italia
2014 Motorcycle Grand Prix of the Americas MotoGP 2:03.575 Honda
2017 Motorcycle Grand Prix of the Americas Moto2 2:09.948 Kalex
2017 Motorcycle Grand Prix of the Americas Moto3 2:15.583 Honda
2017 MotoAmerica Superbike/Superstock Superbike 2:09.173 Yamaha
2013 Austin 400† V8 Supercar 1:33.5951 Holden VF Commodore
2015 Formula Sun Grand Prix Solar EV 4:30.444 Iowa State University Phaeton
Road legal production car Production car 2:11:30 Nio EP9
2017 Autonomous Electric Car EV 2:40:33 Nio EP9

† uses a shorter 3.7 km section of the track.

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