Wednesday, November 21, 2012

F1 2012 - Inaugural year in Austin, TX (not a crafty post, but just had to share!!)

Growing up, I wouldn't have thought I would be all that interested in going to anything like a car race, much less make a 3-day thing of it! But, here I am, 27 years old and not only did I get to attend F1 in Austin, TX on our first year running, but I HAD A BLAST!!!!

I'll admit, I've got this love/hate relationship with going fast... I looooooooove going fast!! I've even gotten up to 120 mph in the Mercury Sable I had years ago, but the damn regulator kept knocking me down to 118, but it was sooo much fun! Amazingly enough, I did NOT get pulled over for this! HA! I was even so comfortable, I was using my feet to drive, had the cruise control on, seat as far back as it would allow.... There was even a guy that caught up to me at some point and kept trying to get my attention!! Too funny. My bad experiences however are when I would be coming back up to Austin from taking a friend back to San Marcos or bringing her to Austin to stay the weekend (she schooled at Texas State). When you hit downtown/South Austin is when you really have to watch out as cops LOVE that area on IH-35. What's sad is knowing the 120mph before was no problem, but yet, going maybe 10 over hitting South Austin is what got me a couple speeding tickets... **siigh**

Fast forward to current and now I drive a standard car (2012 Juke, 6-speed manual with turbo) and love it! I love being able to control the shifting and when exactly I'll go this fast or that slow. It's especially much better than the automatic, crappy as all h*ll Ford Focus I had before. That thing could barely get up the hill outside my office! Now handling the hill is a breeze! Anywho, having the Juke and also a Suzuki SV650 motorcycle, I occasionally can't help but go fast! Speed limit is 65? That's nice,... I think I'll go about 70...75...80....I just don't do this very often, the bad thing is the paranoia I get knowing I do not want to be paying any speeding tickets anytime soon!

Anyone reading this ever watch American Dad? There's an episode where Francine gets bored of her and Stan's weekly date night since they go to the same restaurant, the same day of the week, same time, each and every week! She wants some adventure! At a stop light heading home from the restaurant one night, a guy in a 'fancy' car starts revving and makes eye contact with Stan! She says something like "Oh, Stan! That guy wants to race you! You should!!" Stan replies, "I know exactly what I'm going to do.. (light turns green, the guy shoots forward and Stan pulls out his cell phone) I'm going to call the cops, he shouldn't be driving like that!" Needless to say, Francine is a little frustrated but then she's got it in her head that she wants Stan to RACE! She becomes obsessed until he finally uses a friend's help to juice up their SUV, races it for a bit til she realizes they're a little old for that kind of life... I kinda feel her pain in the boredom, but what she maybe SHOULD have done was what we did: go to a race and just watch!!

F1 is a 3-day event full of cars driving around the track as you look on and marvel at the speed, the sound, the shinies!!! The first 2 days are mostly just practice sessions, then qualifiers (which determine best track speeds they use in the line-up order for the actual races) and then finally, the races themselves! Day 1, we sat in our Turn 12 seats for a little bit, but then decided to walk around the track and see what the General Admission areas views were. Impressively, there are a ton of awesome views from the GA spots so we'll probably do those more often than not for all the other races we plan on attending. We got pretty good views of the practice sessions though and I tried taking a bunch of pictures, but apparently my phone camera wasn't as good as I thought. I did get a bunch of videos but will only post my own pictures as you can easily google images and youtube videos that are far better quality than mine! Day 2 was the qualifiers and the first Ferrari race as well as the Historic Cars race. The most exciting part about the latter was that one of the cars spun out right in front of us in Turn 12 to face the wrong way, and we all held our breaths as the other cars behind him came around the bend and barely missed him! If one of these cars gets destroyed, that's thousands of dollars down the drain, not to mention the fact that these cars are 20-40 years old I believe!!!

Day 3 was the Porsche GT3 race, the 2nd Ferrari race and finally, the F1. It was sooo exciting seeing all these cars racing, the F1s are so loud you HAVE to have earplugs or else your ears will hate you! The Porsche race saw some excitement when 2 cars made contact around our turn and one blew it's radiator and barely was able to finish that last lap to cross the finish line! Yikes!! Then there's the F1.... 55 laps of loud!! I didn't know who to root for, but when 2nd place finally passed 1st in lap 43 and kept that lead? That was definitely exciting!

The stats from the day are that about 60K+ attended Thursday, 80K+ people attended Friday and 112K+ attended Sunday!! 80% of the ticket sales were outside Texas and 46 countries were represented in Austin with the people that came out!! Needless to say, it was crowded and there were people! People everywheeeeere!! 

Ok, I'm done blabbing on and will show you the pics I did get. Apologies on the quality as they were with my phone's camera, but, you get the idea of where we sat and what we got to see!

Sign as we were walking the path to get in the stadium. The path was probably about a mile from the entrance to the shuttle station and we realized this was in fact necessary as Sunday after all was done, the line was completely backed up from the shuttles to the entrance!! It was crazy packed and sooo insaaaane!!

We called the one on the left Moose Boy bc of the 'horn' on top! lol

My $12 Long Island Tea in a collectible glass; it's not a pint glass, but I like it! And the drink was pretty good too!

The tower off in the distance...
On the left are the teams tents and prep area.

All in all, it was a VERY fun weekend and I can't wait for next year, when I'll have more knowledge about what's going on and will have decided on who to root for in each race!  TTFN!!

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