Here’s the story behind the Austin track’s design

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Big ol’ hat tip to John Maher at the Austin American-Statesman for this piece. He sat down with Tavo Hellmund and Kevin Schwantz, not to talk about all the politics and other crud revolving around the Circuit of the Americas, but to talk about the track.

You’ve got some Hockenheim. You’ve got Silverstone. You have Brazil. You have Turkey — hey, we still have Turkey!

I’m tempting to grab all the salient parts, but that wouldn’t be sporting. Click on through to John’s story and let the paper know that folks care about this kind of coverage. Here’s a wee little taste:

Turn 2: A Senna curve

“If you look at the Brazilian Grand Prix, this is the Senna curve,” Hellmund said. The late Ayrton Senna is Hellmund’s favorite driver, but the turn was incorporated for its shape and downward slope rather than its name.

The biggest difference between the Circuit of the Americas’ turn and that of Interlagos is the difference in length from the preceding turn.

Schwantz said that after testing a driver’s courage going up on the first turn, “We want to see how well you can tolerate it going back down.”

OK, and once you’ve checked out all the turns, come on back here and let’s talk. Thoughts? Do you think it will work out? It sounds good (and thankfully there is elevation change). The potential downside I see is that it will feel cobbled together, a Frankenstein’s creature of a track and not one that feels to drivers and fans alike as a natural, coherent circuit.

I will throw up my hand and say that I am willing to test this out first hand when they have the tarmac down. You know where to find me.

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