No time for shenanigans, time to get to the… Hey! Thats an Aston Martin Rapide… So pretty. The parking lot held some intense vehicles, but more on those later.
We were here for the racing! Not the parking lot finds, and we managed to get quite a bit in on our last day. We caught some of the SCCA Pirelli World Challenge GT/GTS race. You know, the one with the GT3 cars in it now. We saw a lap or two from ground level, but then decided to get a better vantage point.
We (Cherp, James and myself) climbed the Tower. Well, we rode the elevator up because it was a lot of stairs. We got some great shots up there of the GT/GTS guys and the Porsche Cup races. We also got some touristy ones.
These guys were running hard, but in the end Madison Snow took the Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy race, while James Sofronas won the GT class in his GMG R8 and Andy Lee put his Best IT Camaro on top of the podium in the GTS class.
But then it was time for the main events! The first race almost saw Mark Winterbottom put his Pepsi Max Crew/FPR Falcon atop the podium, but a bad pit stop relegated him to a disappointing 7th. Holden locked out the top six spots, with Coulthard, Lowndes and Whincup on the podium in the order. Rick Kelly in his Jack Daniel’s Racing Nissan placed 9th and Tim Slade put the Heavy Haulage Australia Racing Mercedes in 20th. Then we had an hour to kill between the races, so we wandered…
And wound up at the Start/Finish line. We consumed energy drinks and water, purchased souvenirs, and then heard 28 cars bounce off the rev limiters before launching up the hill.
And what a hill it is. It’s 150 feet of rise from the bottom of the hill to the top. That makes it the most elevation change of any F1 circuit on the schedule. See? You learned something! We then moved down the front straight, to turn 20. The final turn of the circuit.
We saw plenty of action.
And also some inaction…
And then the checkered flew. The big news? A MERCEDES FINISHED BETTER THAN 20TH!!! Tim Slade and the HHA Racing Mercedes came in 17th! Meanwhile Rick Kelly was yet again the highest placing Nissan (8th), and Mark “Frosty” Winterbottom put his Flacon in 6th. Holden took places 1-5, with the podium consisting of Jamie Whincup, Fabian Coulthard and Shane van Ginsbergen.
And that was it for the races, but the parking lots at CotA held a few gems themselves. There was the McLaren on Saturday, then there was this SRT Viper that was being loaded in to a hauler.
Holdens! We ran across two fellows who import Utes, then convert them to left hand drive by sticking Pontiac GTO or G8 dashes in them. The best part is they then can be legally registered!
After ogling the cars, we packed up and made our way in to Austin for dinner, then shenanigans. The next morning we returned our faithful chariot to the rental agency, hopped on the plane and made our way home. It was an epic trip for the lot of us. Nobody races like the V8 Supercar guys.
Words by Michael Chandler. Photos by Michael Chandler, Nicholas Cherpeski and James Dahl.
*Article and Photos are copyright of CAMAutoMag.Com and their respective owners. Images and words may not be re-posted, re-distributed, modified, or copied without expressed written consent from CAMAutoMag.Com.