Well maybe that was a bit dramatic for the title on my recap of my visit to Austin, Texas for the V8 Supercars race at the Circuit of the Americas, but it does convey how bloody hot it was.  Sean Siff and I headed south for the Austin 400 and even though I was born in Dallas, living in the Northeast for the last 35 years did not prepare me for the heat.

I have never been able to come up with a creative enough story for Tony as to why I need to fly to Australia to network with the folks in the V8 Supercar Series.  So with the V8s making their first visit to the U.S. it gave me a perfect opportunity to meet face-to-face with our partners in the series, our terrific iRacing ambassadors, and hopefully some new partners.

Our trip started before the sun came up on Thursday so needless to say seeing Siff at the airport at 6 AM was not exactly a pleasant experience.  However, it was a wonderful treat to be greeted by the site of a black VW Passat with black leather interior upon our arrival in Austin.  I think I actually lived a nightmare of being trapped inside a microwave every time we got into the car.

What’s the saying?  Everything is better in Texas?

What’s the saying? Everything is better in Texas?

We arrived at the track and where greeted by a great friend to iRacing, Vern Norrgard, who is in charge of all digital media for the V8 Supercar Series.  Vern has been a champion for iRacing with the series and is the one responsible for not only our partnership but also for the extensive coverage we get on the V8 website.  I request, no I demand, that any iRacer who meets Vern is immediately required to buy him a beer and some deep fried olives.

Vern spent the better part of the day talking with us and introducing Sean and me to many people inside the series, allowing me the chance to spread the iRacing gospel.  I am really optimistic that we will see our relationship grow with the series based on discussions we had during the trip.

One of the primary reasons we went to the race was the chance to sit down with iRacing members V8 Supercar rookie driver Scott McLaughlin and title contender Shane Van Gisbergen.  The two Kiwis have had a great start to their seasons with both having already won a race.  I won’t go into too much detail on our visit with the guys because we will have a terrific iRacing TV episode to share with you about it.

Scott McLaughlin smiling minutes before a turn 1 lap 1 exit….

Scott McLaughlin smiling minutes before a turn 1 lap 1 exit….

I will say that both Scott and Shane could not have been nicer to us and spent a lot of time answering many ridiculous questions about their series and cars from two V8 novices.

Thursday night we headed into downtown Austin to have dinner with Vern.  The highlight of the night was trying to explain to Vern that the site of a grown man wearing only a thong riding a bicycle down the street is NOT a common site in the U.S. – that is unless you live in Sean Siff’s neighborhood or downtown Austin.

Friday we headed back to the track to do some more filming with the drivers and our partners at Kia who had their Pirelli World Challenge Optima at the track for their own race at COTA.  The Cadillac CTS-V race car also hit the track on Friday and my goodness does that thing sound glorious . . . why it sounds exactly like ours sounds on iRacing!  Try this:  Turn your speakers up to 10 and hug your subwoofer.  That’s what it feels like when the Caddy goes by you.

Sean Siff doing work.  Garry Rogers not impressed….

Sean Siff doing work. Garry Rogers not impressed….

Okay I will just come right out and admit it.  I have a BBQ problem.  So needless to say, it was a requirement for my trip to Austin to visit the Salt Lick which we did Friday night.  Anyone who travels within 100 miles of this place and enjoys good BBQ MUST make a stop here.  You know a place must be good when there are 300 people TAILGATING with coolers of beer waiting for dinner.  I will never forgive Sean for ordering TURKEY at quite possibly the best BBQ joint in the world…..

bbq

200 pounds of meat on the grill at the Salt Lick and 5 pounds of it Turkey…..

Saturday was the first day of racing on the track and I hate to admit we did not bring Scott and Shane very much luck on the track.  The good news is that we left after their first race and their weekend started going much better for them!  I also had a very productive meeting with the track and I am REALLY optimistic that we will get the track signed.  I also had a good conversation with Holden as well and we left the meeting with the promise that we would continue our discussion in the coming weeks.

The impressive Media Center at The Circuit of the Americas

The impressive Media Center at The Circuit of the Americas

One thing is certain: The Circuit of The Americas is quite frankly the most stunning track I have been to from a design and architectural perspective.  The layout and finish of the paddock, the breath taking media center and, of course, the iconic tower are highlights . . . but everything is really top shelf.  The elevation change of Turn One is really amazing and TV really does not do it justice.  It’s amazing what $400 million dollars gets you!

All around it was a great trip and I want to thank Vern, Scott, and Shane for all the time they spent with us.  Stay tuned for the upcoming iRacing TV episode featuring our trip and make sure to follow me on twitter @iRacingMyers as I tend to send-out photos like the ones in this blog while I travel on these great adventures.

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About Steve Myers

Steve Myers is the Executive Vice President and Executive Producer of iRacing.com. His day to day activities include over seeing and coordinating production, engineering and licensing and trying to get many far more intelligent people than himself heading in the same direction. Steve has been with iRacing since the doors opened in May of 2004 and previously was a Producer at Papyrus Racing Games since early 2000. In his spare time Steve enjoys watching from his comfortable couch all forms of sports including motor racing and occasionally will drag himself to an actual event. Steve lives outside of Boston Massachusetts with his wife and two daughters.


8 Comments

Normal Texas weather. 😉

Jayson Stephenson
May 22nd, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Any chance to talk to COTA about getting it scanned into the sim? I was also there and I really want to drive it in iRacing now!

Alex Hebert
May 22nd, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Great news having COTA and Holden possibly signed:) It would be awesome also to have the Nissan and the Mercedes. Keep up the good work!

Gusz
May 22nd, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Bring COTA to iRacing and I’ll be a instant subscriber …

Daniel
May 22nd, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Great to hear. Especially about COTA. Here in Australia, the Ford Falcon today just officially got shelved. No more Falcons. Knowing the Bipartisan nature of V8Supercar fans here in Australia, I am positive that if iRacing had a Holden Commodore to counter the Ford Falcon in the V8Supercar series, iRacing numbers would get a healthy boost.

Rob Gray
May 22nd, 2013 at 11:15 pm

Rumors of Ford getting back into F1 may account for what I think is a horrible mistake in pulling the Falcons.

Stuart Berwick
June 1st, 2013 at 10:19 am

Agree with Rob gray, Falcon goes to October 2016. Commodore only gaurantee’d to 2020. While I am a GM/Holden Fan and drive a VZ Calais, I would love to see the Altima and merc, but considering the trouble with just getting a Commy in IR, am I asking too much to see all four V8 Supercar – Cars of the Future in iR? Is there anything us Aussies can do to help? i.e. Spamming Mike Deveraux (or however its spelled)(GM Manager Australia).

Jayson Black
June 2nd, 2013 at 4:32 pm

I was at the Salt Lick on Thursday night. Everyone probably had to bring coolers with their drinks because 300 aussies drank them dry the night before! I agree that COTA is a top notch track and I am excited that this opportunity allowed you to make inroads to license further content for iRacing.

Andrew Hartley
June 22nd, 2013 at 9:55 am

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