World Endurance Championship: Circuit of the Americas 2013


Another first was the WEC race itself. And while I enjoy ALMS races, the WEC event brought an even higher level of professionalism. The race itself was more than 2 times the standard ALMS sprint race, keeping sports car and endurance racing synonymous. Local news stations were regularly mentioning the race and used drivers as special guests to build the hype. Definitely a lot more than the standard billboard announcement generally used.


The colored runoffs at COTA bring a lot of life to the track.


This year marked COTA’s initial WEC/ALMS weekend, a first that already has a successor announced for next year around the same time. Fans are treated to a combined weekend of racing with close to 9 hours of premiere racing split between the WEC and the USCC. If only some of the LMGT or P2 cars would run both races. The car count at the joint ALMS/ILMC race at Sebring in 2011 was stellar.


WEC gridwalk


COTA itself is America’s first permanent facility in a long time that can handle a Formula 1 race. While IMS can host a Formula 1 race, it can’t match the elevation and more technical turns offered by the dedicated road racing circuit that COTA has. Large screens are located around all of the grandstands, making it impossible to not follow all of the action on the track. Site lines around the track gave fans views of several turns, and you do not need to move around as much to keep up with the on track action. The track is one of the few that is close to a major airport and a thriving downtown with plenty to do. Enjoy the racing during the day, get some BBQ (It’s Texas, and they have incredible BBQ!), and then head out for some night life, with either some karting at a local go cart place that several of the drivers went to, or a thriving downtown Austin. All of it is 30 minutes or less from COTA.


Pecom Racing leaving the pits.  Check out the water exiting through the top vents above the tires.


Not many teams participated in Friday's WEC practices…


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