Circuit of The Americas gave U.S. motorsports fans their first taste of V8 Supercars' mad scramble, bumper-to-bumper style of racing, as Australia's most popular motorsport made its debut on U.S. soil with the V8 Supercars Austin 400. Track officials reported attendance for the three-day event, which was marked by record temperatures in the mid-90s, was 68,891. Approximately nine percent of fans who purchased tickets in advance of the race came from Australia to watch their Supercars heroes compete under the red-hot Texas sun. Circuit of The Americas says it sold tickets to the event in more than 30 states, including Texas.
“We would like to thank our fans, employees and vendors; the V8 Supercars series managers, teams and drivers; the Pirelli World Championship family; and our incredibly accommodating host city of Austin for helping us stage another spectacular event,” said COTA president and CEO Steve Sexton. “V8 Supercars lived up to its billing for dynamic racing and a fan-friendly environment – and we had some die-hard fans here given the very warm temperatures. Our Australian visitors were good sports and loads of fun, and we're glad that people from around the world had a chance to visit Central Texas and our new state-of-the art facility.”
The weekend was dominated by Red Bull Racing Australia and the General Motors Australia-produced Holden Commodore VF, as Red Bull drivers Jamie Whincup in the No. 1 Holden and his teammate, Craig Lowndes, in the No. 888 Holden, claimed the top two podium positions, respectively, in Saturday's V8 Supercars Races 13 and 14. Lockwood Racing's Fabian Coulthard, also driving a Holden, brought his No. 14 car home third at the end of each contest.
The same three drivers took top honors in Sunday's Race 15, only with a change-up at the top. Coulthard won the race, with Lowndes again finishing second and Whincup taking third. Sunday's final V8 event, Race 16, offered the only variety on the podium this weekend, with Whincup winning again, Coulthard taking second and Austin podium newcomer Shane Gisbergen in the No. 97 Team TEKNO Holden finishing third.
"It was crazy hot out there today. I reckon I've lost six months of my life with how hot it was in the car," joked Whincup, who nevertheless added, "All in all I couldn't be happier with the weekend
"We struggled early and were massively vulnerable but we were just trying to keep track position. That was the key. We managed to do that and the car came good toward the end of the race. We weren't quite as fast as what we were yesterday but the track changed massively over the weekend. What was good with the car yesterday was no good today."
Whincup added that the hybrid American-Australian flavor of the event seemed a good vibe, too, although he thought a few changes could be made to improve the quality of the action.
"It was a good learning experience and a fantastic weekend here in Austin. Everyone enjoyed it. All the autograph lines were 50/50 Australians and locals, so I think it was really good.
"We will change it up a bit, maybe throw some soft tires on and take the mufflers off. We can do plenty of things for next year to spice it up."