Austin prohibits equipment but announces Grand Am for 2013

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The Circuit of the Americas (COTA) had asome good news today…and it had some news that may have upset a few folks. COTA had a press release that announced the items that would be banned from the circuit and it included DSLR cameras with Professional lenses. The statement read:

“Video cameras, still cameras with lenses exceeding 10 inches in length or detachable lenses of any kind, audio recording devices and tripods; no video recording will be allowed “

The folks at COTA received immediate blowback on the issue and revised their statement as follows:

In response to fan feedback, Circuit of The Americas has updated the list of prohibited items for the FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX, Nov. 16-18, 2012.

Patrons with still cameras featuring detachable lenses smaller than 10 inches in length WILL BE permitted on site during the Grand Prix event. However, detachable camera lenses longer than 10 inches will be prohibited.

So no video or photography equipment like the professionals use.

On the “better” news front, COTA has announced the track will host a round of the 2013 Grand Am series and that’s great for fans of America’s tin-top racing and even better for ALMS when it merges with Grand Am. A proper circuit and proper series is great for track economics.  Here is the announcement in full:

AUSTIN, Texas (Sept. 28, 2012) – Circuit of The Americas today announced that it will be one of the new locations joining the GRAND-AM Road Racing series in the coming year, with an event planned for March 2, 2013, at the new purpose-built Grand Prix venue in Central Texas.

Established in 1999, GRAND-AM Road Racing has a large U.S. fan base, with nearly 20 million adults following the series. GRAND-AM sanctions the Rolex Sports Car Series and the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, which deliver professional sports car racing to key markets throughout North America. Both series are televised in the United States and Canada on the SPEED™ network and distributed globally through ESPN International. GRAND-AM’s popularity with television audiences has been growing, and it’s enjoyed the highest percentage growth of any major motorsports series on television over the past five years.

GRAND-AM Road Racing showcases emerging and legendary drivers from around the globe and sophisticated racing machines from the industry’s leading constructors and the world’s top automobile manufacturers. The Rolex Series is also home to some of the best and most recognized names in motorsports, such as Scott Pruett, Max Angelelli, Alex Gurney, Jon Fogarty, David Donohue, Darren Law, Andy Lally and more.

“Circuit of The Americas is thrilled to be included in what has clearly become one of the top road-racing series in the world,” Circuit Executive Vice President Bruce Knox said. “GRAND-AM features some of motorsport’s most accomplished drivers and iconic U.S. racing venues, including Daytona, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Watkins Glen. We are honored to be part of the series’ 2013 schedule, and we appreciate the efforts of the Austin Sports Commission in working with us to help secure this event for our city and venue.”

So while you may feel like you’ve been poked in the eye over $200 weekend parking passes and no video or professional photography equipment, just know you’ll be able to walk to the circuit and not capture the terrific Grand Am series in all its glory but you will be able to tell your kids about it from memory.

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