Simraceway and Circuit of The Americas have always enjoyed a close relationship–we even managed to launch our version of the course three weeks before its real gates swung open–so, on the eve of its second US GP, we’re naturally delighted that the first purpose-built Grand Prix facility in the U.S. has been such a hit in its first year.
Read on to find out more about COTA’s successful first twelve months–in both the virtual and real worlds!
Just like Simraceway, Circuit of The Americas is about far more than Formula One racing. In fact, as the Stetson-topped Lewis Hamilton was jumping off the podium in November 2012, preparations were already well under way for all the other major motorsports events due to be held there in 2013.
From V8 Supercars and the Rolex Sports Car Series to the World Endurance Championship and the American Le Mans Series, COTA’s challenging track was to prove a worthy adversary for some of the world’s best drivers.
During that period, the Austin-based course was to see similar popularity in Simraceway‘s online racing world, from the very first big-prize tournament we held there in October 2012 to the exclusive Events we’re hosting as part of this month’s theme.
And so, as COTA’s first year comes full-circle this weekend with the return of Hamilton, Vettel and co., we thought it would be appropriate to pull together a short history of the 3.427-mile track, charting its major milestones in the real and virtual worlds.
Circuit of The Americas: Once Around the Calendar
June 27, 2010: The plan to build a brand new track in Austin, Texas is officially announced.
December 31, 2010: Construction begins on what will be known as “Circuit of The Americas”.
June 22, 2012: Simraceway begins work on its virtual Circuit of The Americas track (click image to explore our virtual COTA).
October 02, 2012: Simraceway’s virtual COTA opens almost three weeks in advance of the real track!
October 05, 2012: Simraceway‘s Circuit of The Americas Tournament offers winner a VIP trip to the US GP (click image to find out who won).
October 21, 2012: Mario Andretti takes the first lap at the
real-world COTA track to signal its opening.
November 18, 2012: First Formula One race at the Austin-based track is won by Lewis Hamilton (click image to view our virtual version of the winning car).
March 02, 2013: The Grand-Am of The Americas, part of the Rolex Sports Car Series, takes place (click image to view our Audi R8 LMS).
March 07, 2013: CJ Wilson Racing driver Jason Saini thanks Simraceway for the part its COTA track played in his success at the
Grand-Am of The Americas.
May 17-19, 2013: The Austin 400 becomes the only 2013 V8 Supercars championship event to take place outside Australia and New Zealand.
June 20, 2013: Simraceway announces a major revamp of its virtual
Circuit of The Americas track, to bring it completely up-to-date.
September 21, 2013: The American Le Mans Series visits COTA for the first time (click image to view our Corvette C6.R).
September 22, 2013: Simraceway pro driver Allan McNish wins the
6 Hours of Circuit of The Americas (click image to view our Audi R18).
November 17, 2013: Formula One returns to real-world Circuit of The Americas (click image to view McLaren’s challenger).