This weekend, a race car series dubbed “The Rugby of Motor Sports,” also known as Australian V8 Supercars, is making its North American debut at Austin's Circuit of the Americas. The racing promises to be some of the most exciting to date at COTA — at the last round all 28 cars qualified within 0.8 seconds of each other.
Fabian Coulthard, a consistent podium finisher and winner in Australian V8 Supercars, had the following to say after doing a few laps around COTA: “When you drive it in a V8 Supercar it is pretty impressive. The most impressive part for me was turn one driving down into turn two. It was awesome to have the up-and-down and the high-speed low-speed mix. It will work really well with our cars.”
Austin newcomer Jesse James, the host of Jesse James Outlaw Garage, was impressed by the power of the V8 Supercar. “I’ve driven a lot of stuff and I didn’t think I was going to be surprised," James said, "but it is super quick and very forgiving.”
The V8 Supercars will be the first race series to use COTA’s short track, which should keep the cars closer together and increase drivers' passing opportunities. Unlike Formula 1 there will be four races and four qualifying sessions; between that and the Pirelli series, there will be constant action on the track. The V8 Supercars can also sustain more damage than Formula 1 cars, so they tend to “trade paint” unlike F1 cars. The combination of all these factors is sure to make this event a crowd pleaser.
COTA is only the sixth venue outside of Australia to host V8 Supercars — the series has also raced in New Zealand, Shanghai, Bahrain and Abu Dabi. Having this sport on our track reinforces the fact that Austin is considered to be one of the up-and-coming international hubs of entertainment and technology.
Circuit of the Americas has priced tickets affordably and, unlike previous events, Sunday-only passes are available. Weekend passes start at $69 and Sunday passes are $49.