Texas V8 Supercars date confirmation imminent
V8 Supercars is just days away from confirming the date for its maiden appearance at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, next year.
The event has long been tipped to be taking place over the May 17-19 weekend, with official confirmation believed to have been held up by continued negotiations between the circuit and local authorities over funding.
Seemingly allaying fears that the event could be in jeopardy, a V8 Supercars spokesman has told Speedcafe.com that the date will be released “within the next 10 days”.
The event format and circuit configuration, meanwhile, are yet to be locked down and will not be announced until later in the year.
It appears highly likely that the category will race on the venue’s shorter layout, which cuts out five of the Grand Prix circuit’s 20 corners
“We just want to get the date out there so people can book their flights and accommodation,” said the V8 Supercars spokesman of the upcoming announcement.
“We’ve got more than 2,500 people on our register list that want to know the date so that they can go ahead and book travel regardless of what the format will be.”
Although not wishing to its discuss plans, it is expected that V8 Supercars will attempt to lure high-profile US drivers to its COTA event in order to attract greater attention among local fans and media.
The 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule was officially announced yesterday, locking in May 18th for its non-points, invitation only, All-Star race at Charlotte – theoretically allowing some of the category’s top names to fly to Austin and race on the Sunday.
CLICK HERE for Speedcafe.com’s earlier story about the feasibility of such an arrangement
COTA vice-president Bruce Knox told Speedcafe.com late last month that the circuit, which is the promoter of the event, recognises the need to have “local content” in order to succeed.
“V8 Supercars will make the ultimate decision on the format, but we have been in discussions on what we think will work in the US market from a sporting standpoint,” he said.
“The first year is very important and we want to make an impact because we want it to be a world class event,” he added.
“For every race and every series we promote, our goal is to be the best on the calendar. It might be a big goal, but in the US, and particularly in Texas, we dream big.”
The COTA was this week visited by FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting following the completion of the three-layer paving process.
According to a COTA media release, Whiting described the circuit as “absolutely first class”.
Whiting will return to the circuit to give it a full sign-off on November 12, just four days before the Formula 1 World Championship is set to take to the track for the first time.