Austin’s Circuit Of The Americas Cancels Track Days, Screws Over Racing Fans Everywhere
If you were fortunate enough to go to the inaugural U.S. Grand Prix at Austin's Circuit of the Americas last month, you may have started counting the days until you got a chance to drive on it too. After all, the track opened to rave reviews from both fans and Formula One drivers.
That's not going to happen now. Apparently, officials at the circuit have canceled all rentals, club races, driver's education events and other track days for 2013.
Jalopnik was forwarded this email from Rick Schwalenberg, owner of The Driver's Edge, an HPDE school based out of Texas:
Dear Drivers Edge Drivers,
I just recieved a phone call from CoTA's Manager of Track Operations, it wasn't the one I wanted to get.
In short CoTA's executives have decided to cancel all "YES ALL" track rentals. They have decided NOT to rent the track, they plan to go in a diffrent direction.
The worst part is, our tipster says Schwalenberg paid in full and signed a contract for the event, which is supposed to happen in less than 20 days. On their Facebook page, The Driver's Edge said "We really don't know exactly what was behind the decision, but we were told they are canceling all rentals other than major races."
Similarly, MVP Track Time of Missouri had a track day set for Feb. 1-3. Participants received this notice last night:
As many of you have heard or read, Circuit of The Americas has informed MVP Track Time, and other organizations, the track event we contracted for February 1-3, 2013 is not being honored.* This was a complete shock as we've already paid the entire rental fee (and yes the check was cashed by COTA) for February 1-3, 2013.*
I do not want add fuel to the fire until we have all the facts and have taken every possible action to secure the COTA date we have already paid (in full) for.* As soon as we have all the facts, I will send an e-mail to all attendees.
Thank you for your patience while we quickly work through this.
Circuit of the Americas' Facebook page is already brimming with angry comments from enthusiasts who feel like they've been screwed over.
Earlier this morning I sent an email to the circuit's media people, asking to confirm if this is true and if so, why it's happening. I have not heard back yet but I'll update this post if I do.
Hat tip to David!