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Interview with Kevin Schwantz - Part 1

Well first and foremost it's safe. I feel like you can build a race track, but if it's not safe and you don't have just unbelievable compliments from the riders then it's a tough sell. Because if the riders are going there and making safety concerns all the time, or there are certain things about the track that they don't like. I think it's a tougher sell to the public.

But if the riders are talking about what a great facility it is. I think it's going to be an immediate success. Because it's just going to sell itself. When the media learn from the riders, after they have ridden or tested for the first time, what a great place it is and how much they love riding here then the fans are also going to want to come.

Tilke [Company headed by German engineer and circuit designer Hermann Tilke] has designed quite a few of the fairly new F1 tracks, and what Tavo and I both didn't want to happen was for this to be just like everything else that is out there right now.

We wanted this track to have some things in it from some of the favourite tracks we used to race on. Tavo raced in British F3 [single seater cars] so he knows a bunch of those tracks and of course my knowledge of race tracks. We wanted it to be challenging. We wanted it to be technically a track that you have got to be on top of your game at and riding really, really well to get around.

It's not just a straight line and then a simple 90-degree corner, then another straight line and another simple corner. We put sections of track that really lock themselves together, so you have to be really good and technically correct. There are also some fairly high-speed corners, high-speed exits and of course a long back straightaway with real hard braking at the end.
In terms of giving the track some character, are there any particular corners or sections that you think will come to define the circuit. Places that people will see and instantly know it's the Austin track?

Kevin Schwantz:
Well the front straightaway is going to be fairly flat, but then going into the first turn there is almost 130 feet of elevation change [see elevation track map, with grey background, at bottom of page]. So it's a huge uphill.

Then as you make the first turn you come back down that hill and start a sequence of corners where I think most of the separation will be made. That is from Turns 2 all the way to Turn 9. It includes a sequence of corners similar to Maggotts and Becketts [the fast S bends] at Silverstone.

The one section that I also really like is at the end of the back straightaway. It's a sequence of corners similar to the Stadium section at the old Hockenheim circuit.

I always remember going into the Stadium there and no matter how focused you were, how hard you were racing and what those two-strokes sounded like - you could still hear the roar of the fans! So that section on our track should be really popular with the fans as well.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Austin F1 and MotoGP track (pic: Tilke)
The Circuit of the Americas race track being built in Austin, Texas (Pic:
Schwantz, Rins get well, MotoGP race, Grand Prix of the Americas, 2017.
Marquez, Pedrosa, Rossi MotoGP race Grand Prix Of The Americas 2017
Roberts Jr, Schwantz, Honour lap, Grand Prix of the Americas, 2017.
Roberts Jr, Schwantz, Honour lap, Grand Prix of the Americas, 2017.
Roberts Jr, Schwantz, Honour lap, Grand Prix of the Americas, 2017.
Roberts Jr, Schwantz, Honour lap, Grand Prix of the Americas, 2017.
Roberts Jr, Schwantz, Honour lap, Grand Prix of the Americas, 2017.
Roberts Jr, Schwantz, Honour lap, Grand Prix of the Americas, 2017.
Roberts Jr, Schwantz, Honour lap, Grand Prix of the Americas, 2017.
Jorge Lorenzo, Mercedes AMG Petronas, Silverstone [Credit: Monster Energy]
Schwantz, Grand Prix Of The Americas, 2016
Win tickets to the British MotoGP at Silverstone
Fans , Indianapolis MotoGP 2015.
Fans , Indianapolis MotoGP 2015.
Gagne, MotoAmerica Superstock 1000 , Indianapolis MotoGP 2015.
Beaubier, Roger Hayden, Hayes, Lewis, Gagne, MotoAmerica SBK , Indianapolis MotoGP 2015.

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superslide - Unregistered

April 21, 2011 11:33 AM

I think it looks good for a new track. Big elevation changes, fast maggots/becketts esses, long back staight for slipstreaming, 150mph long right, few hard braking places for overtaking. Reminds me a bit of Aragon and that ain't bad. It's just good to see a western country, other than spain/portugal, actually building a brand new state-of-the-art track from the ground up. Wouldn't happen here in the UK.

jimmy - Unregistered

April 21, 2011 6:44 PM

I have one problem with these modern tracks. A lack of atmosphere. It's like a stadium or a football field. Hills are a way to go but also trees. I like tracks in forests or some parks. Spa, Monza, Road America, just some interesting landscape around.

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