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Thread: COTAs Tips

  1. #1
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    Default COTAs Tips

    Has anyone done the jaunt down to Austin for the US GP?

    Any tips, best places to sit? F1 Experiences worth it ( going with a buddy and worried about sticker shock )?

    Put myself on the list for early bird tickets, any idea when they go on sale typically?

    TIA
    Originally posted by Thales of Miletus

    If you think I have been trying to present myself as intellectually superior, then you truly are a dimwit.
    Originally posted by Toma
    fact.

  2. #2
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    Sat on the main grandstand and was awesome. Good view of the pit, turn 1 and timing screens.
    Depending on where you sit on the grandstand, it could also be covered for rain/sun for the Texas heat.

    Should probably get a parking pass as it's not that close to Austin unless you're ok with taking the shuttle everyday and sitting in traffic.

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    Went back in 2014, sat in the grandstand off the turn 3,4,5,6 complex and it was pretty good. Got a good view of the timing screens as well as turn 8/9, the back straight and turns 12 and 13. We were completely out in the open and in the elements but luckily it was pretty mild. If i would do it again, I think i'd like to sit around the turn 15 complex or the main grandstand. If you want to head onto the track after the finish you have to leave your seats fairly early since they close the gates pretty quickly (unless you're pretty close to the start/finish).

    We got a parking pass and i believe we parked at lot T... didnt matter which lot you parked imho... there were huge lineups for the shuttles (was a 30-45 min wait) no matter what lot you parked at.

    I'd look into hotels ASAP, they book up quick.

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    Did you book hotels before tickets went on sale?
    Originally posted by Thales of Miletus

    If you think I have been trying to present myself as intellectually superior, then you truly are a dimwit.
    Originally posted by Toma
    fact.

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    Quote Originally Posted by killramos View Post
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    Did you book hotels before tickets went on sale?
    I did, basically forced everyone that was going to commit to the trip haha. As soon as I knew the dates for the race I started my search.

    Another thing, fan fest is usually on 6th street downtown so if you stay around there its pretty cool to be able to just walk out of your hotel and check out the festivities without worrying about how to get there.

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    Went last year. Stayed at the cheapest bleachers I could find (Turn 9). It was a long walk, and I enjoyed it, but I would spring for the Grandstand. I also only did race-day (Sunday). We flew in Friday morning, as our Saturday morning flights kept getting cancelled. Booked the hotel + flights the day I purchased the tickets. It was just myself and my wife.

    We didn't rent a car. We stayed downtown, uber'd when we needed to, and used the COTA shuttles to get to/from the track, as the drop off point was ~3 blocks from our hotel.
    If the river was whisky, and I was a duck.
    I would swim to the bottom, and never come up.
    But the river isn't whisky, and I'm not a duck.
    So give me the whisky, and shut the hell up.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by A2VR6 View Post
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    I did, basically forced everyone that was going to commit to the trip haha. As soon as I knew the dates for the race I started my search.

    Another thing, fan fest is usually on 6th street downtown so if you stay around there its pretty cool to be able to just walk out of your hotel and check out the festivities without worrying about how to get there.
    Off the top of your head when did the ticket sales start? Gonna be tough to get people to commit without tickets but meh.
    Originally posted by Thales of Miletus

    If you think I have been trying to present myself as intellectually superior, then you truly are a dimwit.
    Originally posted by Toma
    fact.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by killramos View Post
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    Off the top of your head when did the ticket sales start? Gonna be tough to get people to commit without tickets but meh.
    I want to say April/May ish?

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    Originally posted by Thales of Miletus

    If you think I have been trying to present myself as intellectually superior, then you truly are a dimwit.
    Originally posted by Toma
    fact.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LilDrunkenSmurf View Post
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    Went last year. Stayed at the cheapest bleachers I could find (Turn 9). It was a long walk, and I enjoyed it, but I would spring for the Grandstand. I also only did race-day (Sunday). We flew in Friday morning, as our Saturday morning flights kept getting cancelled. Booked the hotel + flights the day I purchased the tickets. It was just myself and my wife.

    We didn't rent a car. We stayed downtown, uber'd when we needed to, and used the COTA shuttles to get to/from the track, as the drop off point was ~3 blocks from our hotel.
    May I ask ask how much tickets and the whole trip set you back..?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonytiger55 View Post
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    May I ask ask how much tickets and the whole trip set you back..?
    We used a lot of points for the trip.
    Tickets were $400USD for a pair IIRC.
    Flights were ~$1300CAD (Westjet, used points to pay for most of it)
    Hotel was ~$300CAD/night (Holiday Inn Express, used points, was booked Sat night, Sun night, Mon night)
    Flights for Sat morning kept getting cancelled, so we ended up changing them to the Friday morning, and had to book another hotel, just for Friday night. It was near the airport, but it was "cheap" considering, at ~$200CAD for one night.
    The shuttle tickets were ~$30USD/person for the entire day.
    On top of that was food and shopping. Mostly F1 swag, like a RBR hat and a limited edition Hamilton Japan hat. Of note, there were a ton of pop-up F1 stores in downtown Austin, and initially I was skeptical, but they were legit, and were on average ~$5USD cheaper than buying stuff at the actual track.

    Also, I would try to get reservations for any restaurants. It's not necessary for all of them, depending on the size/day, but there was a fantastic small Italian place that literally didn't take walk-ins. It was reservations only, they were so busy.
    If the river was whisky, and I was a duck.
    I would swim to the bottom, and never come up.
    But the river isn't whisky, and I'm not a duck.
    So give me the whisky, and shut the hell up.

  12. #12
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    Can't speak to COTA, specifically, but we went to Suzuka last year and utilized F1 Experiences. Yes, it's expensive, but we felt that it was totally worth it.

    When looking at the access it gave us (track tour, pit lane access, meeting Charles Leclerc, etc) compared to people that just came to watch the race and leave, we both agreed that we would probably be springing for one of the F1 Experiences packages for every race we go to. For just watching the race, you can arguably get more out of it by catching TV coverage. Just my 2 cents.

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    I've gone three years in a row and I wouldn't get any fixed tickets. Pay the basic daily entry fee (I think it is $60 or $75) and walk around. Plenty of space to sit on the grass in all the good spots (except the finish line where the Grand Stand is). In the slow S turn - think it's turn 5/6 or something like that you can stand behind a fence and be 45 feet from the cars as they accelerate towards the high speed S's. Just my 0.2c

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