Millions of fans. Thousands of events. 10 years of unforgettable memories. Take a look back at some of the highlights of COTA’s cherished history.
Construction Began on America’s Only Purpose-Built Formula 1 Track
Agreement with Formula 1 for U.S Grand Prix
Circuit of The Americas announced that they have reached an agreement with Formula One Management that ensures the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix remains on the FIA Formula 1 World Championship race calendar.
Paving Process Began
Circuit of The Americas began an intensive paving process that is required to prepare the racing circuit and entire facility for the inaugural 2012 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix, scheduled for Nov. 16-18.
Inaugural Formula 1 United States Grand Prix at COTA
Circuit of The Americas entered the record books as the first purpose-built Formula 1 racetrack in the country to host its own Grand Prix. An exuberant crowd packed the new facility to watch Vodafone McLaren Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton claim his fourth Grand Prix of the season and his second United States Grand Prix victory in five years having won the 2007 Formula 1 race last hosted in Indianapolis. Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel, current points leader in the drivers’ standings, was second with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso third. McLaren was awarded the constructor’s trophy for Austin’s inaugural event.
Austin360 Amphitheater Opening Night
Circuit of The Americas opened the new, world-class Austin360 Amphitheater (now known as the Germania Insurance Amphitheater) with a performance by country music superstar Kenny Chesney and with rising star Kacey Musgraves. The crowd roared as Chesney kicked off the highly anticipated spring 2013 season for the 14,000-seated entertainment venue.
Red Bull Base Jump from COTA tower
Circuit of The Americas hosted the first of many amazing feats planned for the inaugural MotoGP Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas when the Red Bull Air Force, a team of B.A.S.E. jumpers will catapult from the observation deck of the Circuit’s signature 25-story Tower and landed 251 feet below.
Inaugural MotoGP Race at Circuit of The Americas
MotoGP fans witnessed the debut of World Championship motorcycle racing during the three-day MotoGP Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas on April 19-21. Spectators were treated to a history-making performance, as rookie Repsol Honda rider Marc Marquez became the youngest rider in MotoGP history to win a Grand Prix at just 20 years old. His teammate Dani Pedrosa finished second while 2012 World Champion Jorge Lorenzo of the Yamaha Factory Racing Team rounded out the podium with a third-place finish. Repsol Honda claimed the constructor’s trophy.
Pirelli World Challenge at Circuit of The Americas
In 2013, the Pirelli World Challenge debuted at Circuit of The Americas with V8 Supercars as the supporting race. GT, GTS, Touring Car and Touring Car B-Spec teams raced around the 20-turn, 3.41-mile track as part of the race weekend. Johnny O’Connell won the inaugural race at COTA in the #3 Cadillac CTS-V.
US Grand Prix Named Sports Event of The Year
The 2012 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas has won the coveted “Sports Event of the Year” award at the 2013 SportsBusiness Journal Awards held, Wednesday, May 22, at the New York Marriott Marquis in Manhattan.
Formula Sun Grand Prix Makes Debut at Circuit of The Americas
The Formula Sun Grand Prix is annual solar-car race where teams from colleges and universities around the world design, build, test and race solar-powered vehicles around a closed loop track. Each team has three consecutive days to complete as many laps as they can around The Circuit, and the team with the most laps completed wins the race. There are strict regulations set for each time regarding the total area of solar cells allowed and related reflectors. The Formula Sun Grand Prix serves the qualifying race for the American Solar Challenge Road Race.
McNish, Kristensen, and Duval Won Inaugural Lone Star Le Mans at Circuit of The Americas
The Lone Star Le Mans is an endurance race for Le Mans Prototypes and grand tourer-style cars that lasts for 6 hours and has no set number of laps. Car manufactures such as Porsche, Audi, Ferrari, Ford, Cadillac compete to design, build and race the fastest car. Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen, and Loïc Duval won the inaugural race at Circuit of The Americas for Audi Sport Team Joest in the Audi R18 E-Tron Quattro.
U.S Vintage National Championship
The inaugural U.S. Vintage Racing Championship was held at Circuit of The Americas on October 25th – 27th, 2013 and featured over 500 vintage race cars that competed in 12 different classes, with each class having their own respected National Champion. Each race took place on Circuit of The Americas 3.41-mile-long Formula 1 track and showcased some of the most valuable vintage race cars in the world such as the Bugatti Type 35, Ford GT40 and many pre-war race cars.
Sebastian Vettel Won 2013 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix
A massive crowd of race fans watched Formula 1 racing’s new driving powerhouse, Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel, make history, as the 2013 World Champion driver scored his eighth consecutive Grand Prix victory at Circuit of The Americas (COTA). In doing so, the 26-year-old German wunderkind topped the record of seven consecutive wins set by his racing idol, Michael Schumacher, who retired after the 2012 season.
Marc Marquez Wins the 2014 MotoGP Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas
Reigning MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez led every practice session, qualified on pole, and easily won Sunday’s 2014 Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas. The young Spaniard rode his No. 93 Repsol Honda to a second consecutive win in Texas at the Circuit of The Americas, starting from pole and leading the race from start to finish. In the process, he became the first rider to win the first two races of the year from pole in the premier class since Mick Doohan performed the feat in 1995.
ESPN presented the inaugural X Games Austin at Circuit of The Americas. This sports action extravaganza took over the 3.41-mile-long track at The Circuit and Downtown Austin from June 5th-8th and featured over 200 athletes in many different sport disciplines. Fans who attended this event were able to witness the debut of Stadium Super Trucks and the return of BMX Dirt to the U.S. In addition to the premier sports competitions, fans were able to enjoy the X Games Music Presents Series with performances from world famous artists such as: Kayne West, Mac Miller, The Flaming Lips, Dillon Francis, Gary Clark Jr., Bad Religion, Slightly Stoopid, Cash Cash, Emily Wolfe, Wavves and Black Pistol Fire.
Formula Sun Grand Prix Returns
Student teams from around the world will race solar-powered electric vehicles that they designed and built, on the first purpose-built Formula 1 racetrack in the United States. Twenty teams registered for this year’s event, representing colleges and universities from the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, India and Iran. Austin’s local university team, The University of Texas at Austin Solar Vehicles Team (UTSVT) returned with a newly upgraded car called the TexSun. Other competitors include the University of Michigan, UC Berkeley and MIT.
Audi Sport Team Joest took First Place at Lone Star Le Mans
The second Lone Star Le Mans was held at Circuit of The Americas on September 20th, 2014. The endurance race for Le Mans Prototypes and grand tourer-style cars that lasts for 6 hours and tests the limits of each car manufacture. Audi Sport Team Joest took first place in the race after completing 157 laps in 6:01’52 in the Audi 18 E-Tron Quattro.
Lewis Hamilton Wins 2014 Grand Prix
Hamilton’s win was his 10th of the year and pushed his lead in the points up to 316, compared with Rosberg’s new tally of 292. It was also Hamilton’s second win in three years at the new Texas track. Hamilton reprised his 2012 victory over Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel by passing Rosberg on Turn 12, the same place he overtook Vettel at the inaugural race. Hamilton then coasted to a fairly easy win, keeping a comfortable distance between himself and the remainder of the field for the final 40 laps.
Pirelli World Challenge
The Pirelli World Challenge kicked off the 2015 season at Circuit of The Americas for the first race in their 26th season. R.Ferri Motorsport’s driver won the race with a thrilling pass on the final lap of the race in the #61 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3.
Marc Marquez Remains Undefeated at Americas GP
Rain falling over Circuit of The Americas throughout the day didn’t stop the on-track action at the MotoGP Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas. Despite the wet track, top speeds in this morning’s practice sessions still topped 200 mph. Marc Marquez took first place in a thrilling race on Sunday, confirming the Spanish current World Champion as the true MotoGP King of COTA, having taken victory in all three MotoGP races in Austin. Motorcycle racing legend Kevin Schwantz, COTA’s official two-wheel ambassador, got up-close-and personal with fans all weekend, leading a motorcycle parade lap and taking part in multiple fan events throughout the weekend.
X Games with performances by Nicki Minaj, Metallica, The Glitch Mob
X Games Austin returned to Circuit of The Americas for the second year in a row. Over 160,000 fans attended over 4 days making it the most attended X Games since 2004. The event took over The Circuit and debuted three new events including Moto X Flat Track, Moto X Quarter Pipe and Big Double Airs. In addition to the premier sports competitions, fans were able to enjoy the X Games Music Presents Series with performances from world famous artists such as Nicki Minaj, Metallica and The Glitch Mob.
Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnic
For 42 years running, American icon and Austin’s own Willie Nelson got together some of the biggest names in music to celebrate Independence Day Willie-style. Willie’s 4th of July Picnics have become a legendary Texas summer tradition, and this year the party came to COTA with over 20 top tier country artists across two stages. Circuit of The Americas became the setting for the biggest Independence Day celebration in all of Texas.
Iowa State wins 2015 Formula Sun Grand Prix
Student teams from around the world will race solar-powered electric vehicles that they designed and built, on the first purpose-built Formula 1 racetrack in the United States. Fourteen teams registered for this year’s event, representing colleges and universities from the world, however, only one team was able to complete 70 laps in a day. Iowa State’s Team PrISum was the only team to successfully complete over 200 laps throughout the weekend. On the first day the team completed 76 laps in 8 hours, then 70 laps on day 2 and finished off with 77 laps. Team PrISUm completed 233 laps in just 24 hours of racing around Circuit of The Americas.
Lewis Hamilton Wins Formula 1 United States Grand Prix
Defending Formula One World Drivers’ Champion Lewis Hamilton, crossed the finish line 2.8 seconds ahead of MERCEDES AMG PATRONUS teammate Nico Rosberg this afternoon to win both the 2015 United States Grand Prix and the 2015 World Drivers’ Championship at Circuit of The Americas on Sunday – his third world title. Many expected the rain and wet track to take its toll on drivers and cars. While there certainly was a good deal of attrition during the race, with two virtual yellows and two safety-car yellows, the rain was not primarily to blame. Two cars crashed, but six others failed to finish, mostly due to mechanical problems. Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas were both forced out with technical problem. Unfortunately for Williams, this was the team’s first double DNF since 2012 in Brazil. Lotus’s Romain Grosjean and Marussia’s Will Stevens completed the list of driver who retired early.
Marc Marquez Continues Winning Streak at MotoGP Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas
Marc Marquez won his fourth consecutive race at the 2016 Motorcycle Grand Prix of The Americas for team Repsol Honda. Following close behind was Jorge Lorenzo in second and Andrea Lannone in third.
Porsche Wins 2016 Lone Star Le Mans
The 6 hours of Circuit of The Americas is an endurance race for Le Mans Prototypes and grand tourer-style cars that tests the limits of each car manufacture. Porsche Team took home the victory in their Porsche 919 Hybrid with drivers Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley.
Lewis Hamilton Wins 2016 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton won the 2016 United States Grand Prix making it his 3rd consecutive win at Circuit of The Americas. Hamilton had a great start to the race taking the lead up Turn 1 with Daniel Ricciardo in second with Nico Rosberg trailing close behind in third. Rosberg entered the race with a 33-point lead over his teammate and biggest rival, Lewis Hamilton, for the World Drivers’ Championship. This race was the last time Jenson Button scored points as a Formula 1 driver before retiring at the end of the season. Hamilton was able to reduce Rosberg’s lead in the Drivers’ Championship to only 26 points by finishing in first. Nico Rosberg finished in second just 4 seconds behind Lewis with Daniel Ricciardo claiming third place.
Vintage Racing Championship
For the 4th year in a row, Circuit of The Americas hosted the U.S. Vintage Racing Championship at the world-famous Formula 1 track. The event was held from November 2nd – 6th, 2016 and welcomed 11 race groups and over 75 years of historical automobiles.
Cyclists Invited to Cycle The Circuit at Inaugural Bike Night Series
Circuit of The Americas welcome all cyclists for an evening ride around The Circuit for an all-new weekly community event. This event gives cyclists the opportunity to experience the 20 iconic turns that make up track at their own pace, and for those more daring the chance to ride up Turn 1. Finally, enthusiasts can cool off after the sunset ride with food and beverages at the COTA Biergarten.
Marc Marquez Wins the 2017 Horsepower Rodeo
Marc Marquez won his fifth consecutive race at Circuit of The Americas in 2017. Valentino Rossi finished the race in second place followed by Dani Pedrosa in third place.
Porsche Leads in 2017 Lone Star Le Mans
The Lone Star Le Mans returned to COTA’s Formula 1 track on September 17, 2017 as part of the FIA World Endurance Championship. Drivers Earl Bamber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley took home the trophy for the Porsche Team after winning the race in the Porsche 919 Hybrid.
Lewis Hamilton Wins 2017 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix
Hundreds of thousands of fans filled the seats at Circuit of the Americas to watch Lewis Hamilton win the 2017 United States Grand Prix after passing Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. Max Verstappen originally finished the race in third place but received a 5 second time penalty for overtaking Raikkonen off the track on the final lap of the race. Kimi Raikkonen was awarded the position as a result of the penalty. Carlos Sainz Jr. moved teams from Toro Rosso to Renault replacing the British driver Jolyon Palmer. Mercedes secured their fourth consecutive World Constructors’ Championship with a 155-point lead over Ferrari as Hamilton won and Bottas finished in 5th.
Vintage Racing Championship
Circuit of The Americas hosted the 2017 U.S. Vintage Racing Championship from November 2 -5, 2017. During the race, hundreds of the finest vintage cars in the world competed to take home the golden Bell Racing National Champions helmet.
MotoGP Marc Marquez Sixth Win
Undefeated Marc Marquez won the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas for the sixth time at Circuit of The Americas recording a lap time of 2:04.605. Maverick Vinales finished the race in second place and Andrea Lannone finished in third.
Cars and Coffee at COTA
Cars and Coffee Austin relocated to Circuit of The Americas for an eclectic showing of Texas’ finest automobiles. At this event, car enthusiasts and casual fans have the opportunity to admire a wide variety of cars ranging from classics hot rods to exotic supercars.
Formula Americas Open Wheel Driving Experience Unleashed
Circuit of The Americas is launched a new Formula Americas Driving Experience. The Formula Americas Driving Experience was the ultimate open wheel driving experience, drivers have the opportunity to experience a few laps on the 2.3-mile National Circuit and three open-wheel laps around the full 3.41-mile-long Grand Prix Circuit.
The Iceman Wins the 2018 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix
Kimi Raikkonen won the 2018 United States Grand Prix by using the “one stop strategy” to achieve his first win since the 2013 Australian Grand Prix. This was Ferrari’s first win at Circuit of The Americas and Raikkonen’s first win for Ferrari since 2009. This was Kimi Raikkonen’s last victory of his F1 racing career. Max Verstappen finished second for team Red Bull with Lewis Hamilton close behind for a third-place finish for Mercedes. Sebastian Vettel made a crucial error at the beginning of the race by spinning while trying to get ahead of Daniel Ricciardo. Mercedes cost Lewis Hamilton time by waiting too long before making a pitstop allowing Max Verstappen to ease by. Esteban Ocon was disqualified after finishing in 8th for exceeding fuel flow limits on the first lap.
Austin Voted Best Grand Prix Destination
The United States Grand Prix at Austin secures the No. 1 spot on the Rev Race Weekend Index with an overall score of 26.5. Austin also receives an Editor’s Pick recognition as Best for Music.
Inaugural INDYCAR Classic
Circuit of The Americas hosted the inaugural INDYCAR Classic race — the second round of the 2019 INDYCAR season. Colton Herta took first place, becoming the youngest INDYCAR race winner of all time.
Alex Rins Dethrones Marc Marquez and Wins America’s GP
Alex Rins finished the Grand Prix in first place making him the first racer to win at Circuit of The Americas to win other than Marc Marquez who crashed during the race. Following behind were Valentino Rossi and Jack Miller who finished in second and third place respectively.
American Rallycross Championship
Circuit of The Americas laid dirt on the track and welcomed the American Rallycross Championship to Austin, TX on September 28th, 2019. The American Rallycross Championship serves as the feeder championship to the FIA World Rallycross Championship for North America. Rookie, Tanner Foust became the youngest Rallycross Champion after fighting against Subaru Rally Team USA for first place.
Valtteri Bottas Wins the 2019 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix
Valtteri Bottas started the race in the pole position and maintained the lead throughout the race. Lewis Hamilton finished second place securing his sixth world championship with 381 points making him the second most accomplished Formula One Driver of all time behind Michael Schumacher. Max Verstappen finished the race in third and was unable to pass Lewis Hamilton on turn 12 because Kevin Magnussen’s brakes failed bringing out a yellow flag.
COTA Food Drive Central Texas Food Bank
In the spring of 2020, COTA hosted a highly successful food drive benefiting the Central Texas Food Bank and raised over $200K in donations. During the lfood drive, over 20,000 people visited the track in 7,000 vehicles.
Peppermint Parkway Debuts
In 2020, COTA debuted an all-new event to help the community celebrate the holidays in a safe and festive way. The holiday spectacular consisted of a one-mile driving attraction that immersed visitors in over 6 million holiday lights synchronized to joyful holiday classics. The drive featured a 60-foot spiral light tree, giant light sculptures of beloved holiday icons, and an unforgettable finale featuring Santa himself.
Turn 1 renamed “Big Red”
Circuit of The Americas named the opening corner of its Formula 1 track ‘Big Red’ in honor of The Circuit’s co-founder Red McCombs.
NASCAR Races into Circuit of The Americas
The inaugural EchoPark Texas Grand Prix was a NASCAR Cup Series Race that took place at Circuit of The Americas on May 21st, 2021. The race was originally scheduled to be 68 laps around the 3.41-mile track, but was shortened to just 54 laps due to heavy rain. The Hendrick Motorsports Team drivers, Chase Elliot and Kyle Larson, pulled off an exciting finish in first and second place. The NASCAR Cup Series featured supporting races by the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series during the race weekend.
Marc Marquez Reclaims His Throne at COTA
After being postponed for a year due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, MotoGP returned to Circuit of The Americas in October 2021. Marc Marquez reclaimed his title at Circuit of The Americas winning his 7th race at this track. Fabio Quartararo finished the Grand Prix in second place following by Francesco Bagnaia in third.
Max Verstappen Wins the 2021 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix
Formula One returned to Austin with over 400,000 race fans in attendance after being cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was the ninth time that Circuit of The Americas was the host of a Formula 1 Grand Prix. Max Verstappen led the charge and finished the race in first place followed close behind by Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez. Verstappen was able to increase his lead to 12 points over the Mercedes Driver, Lewis Hamilton, in the World Drivers’ Championship after finishing the race first.
Rolling Stones No Filter Tour Stops at COTA
Circuit of The Americas welcomed The Rolling Stones to the Super Stage on November 20, 2021 as part of their critically-acclaimed NO FILTER tour. This marked the last tour date of the NO FILTER tour and the rock ‘n’ roll legends’ first time reuniting since the 2020 postponement. The Stones were electric on the Super Stage and performed hits such as “Start Me Up” and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”
Repaving Process Finalized
Circuit of The Americas’ track was recently resurfaced to create the ideal racing environment for the upcoming races and events. Ground penetration radar and laser mapping equipment & software was used to map the track and identify the different repairs needed.
NASCAR Returns to COTA
The 2022 EchoPark Texas Grand Prix NASCAR Cup Series Race took place at Circuit of The Americas in Austin Tx on March 26th, 2022. The race lasted for 69 laps around the 3.41-mile-long track and was completed in just over 3 hours. Ross Chastain was the race leader for 31 laps and finished in first for team Chevrolet. The NASCAR Cup Series featured supporting races by the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series during the race weekend.
Enea Bastianini Wins America’s GP
Enea Bastianini won the 2022 Grand Prix of The Americas becoming the first repeat winner of the year and the leader of world championship. Alex Rins finished the race in second place and Jack Miller, who led the majority of the race, finished in third place.
COTA Food Drive for Central Texas Food Bank
After the success in 2020, COTA hosted its second food drive for the Central Texas Food Bank. At the event, Circuit of The Americas’ fans were able to raise over 1.6 million meals for the Central Texas area. Guests who donated were able to coast the track at a maximum speed of 20 MPH and experience the track’s iconic turns and elevation changes.
Cars and Coffee Summer Series
Cars and Coffee Austin presented by Drive Coffee returned to Circuit of The Americas on June 26th, 2022 for long awaited car meet. During the car show, race fans were able to witness a replay of the 2021 Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix while admiring some of the finest automobiles in Texas. This event kicked off the three-part summer series for car enthusiasts.
Verstappen Takes Home the Trophy
Max Verstappen won the 10th USGP at COTA and secured the first Constructor’s Cup for Oracle Red Bull Racing since 2013. Lewis Hamilton trailed behind the flying Dutchman for second place, followed by Charles Leclerc who crossed the finish line third.
COTA Hosts Annual Austin Police Association Family Day
Circuit of The Americas hosted more than 1,000 Austin Police Association (APA) members and their families for a day of togetherness including food, drinks, rides, games, live music, and more. With all that APA has done for the community, COTA was honored to donate space and efforts to assist APA with their annual family picnic.
Peppermint Parkway Lights Up COTA
Peppermint Parkway returned to COTA for its third year. The track was converted into a winter wonderland featuring one-mile of immersive holiday displays, millions of lights, dancing elves, and so much more.
Vettel Grove Comes to Life
Circuit of The Americas and Austin non-profit TreeFolks planted hundreds of native saplings and trees in Richard Moya Park to honor now-retired racing legend Sebastian Vettel. As part of a broader awareness initiative, COTA reached out to Del Valle neighbor TreeFolks. The organization’s mission to restore green space, regrow native trees, and educate Austinites on the urban forest ecosystem aligned with COTA’s goal of simultaneously honoring a legendary F1 driver, preserving the local Austin ecosystem, and leaving a lasting legacy.
Bike Night Makes a Comeback
The first Bike Night Presented by Ascension Seton of 2023 was a huge success with cyclers of all levels cruising on the only permanent, purpose-built Formula 1 track in the United States for a fun-filled biking adventure. Friends and family gathered for a sunset ride around COTA’s 20 turns.
Rins Wins America’s GP
Alex Rins won the 10th annual Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas, securing the trophy for LCR Honda CASTROL and his first podium of 2023. Honda has now won 8 of 10 races at Circuit of The Americas, returning to dominance since Enea Bastianini took the win in 2022 for Gresini Racing.
T11 Car Condos Construction Begins
T11 Car Condos officially broke ground this summer. COTA and T11 project representatives gathered for a sunny photo-op last week to mark the exciting occasion. After celebrating The Circuit’s 10th birthday last October, this groundbreaking denotes the beginning stages of COTA’s expansion project years in the making.
2023 USGP Weekend Makes History
2023 World Champion Max Verstappen secured his 50th career win at the Formula 1 Lenovo United States Grand Prix. Over the weekend, COTA made history by hosting the first American Sprint Shootout and also crowning the first F1 Academy Champion, Marta García. The off-track entertainment included musical performances by The Killers (Friday), Queen + Adam Lambert (Saturday), and Tiësto (Sunday).
Austin Airport Experiences Its Busiest Day of the Year
The Monday after USGP weekend was the busiest day of the year at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) with more than 43,000 passengers, according to figures from the Transportation Security Administration. The record-breaking figure topped the previous single-day record: the day after last year’s F1 weekend.