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Circuit of the Americas MotoGP Camping!

We’re a month away from the RedBull Circuit of the Americas MotoGP 2014 event, and we’ve still got plenty of room for camping and parking! Last year we had a blast with all the folks that came out, and look forward to some return customers and some new folks! We made some slight adjustments to the pricing from last year, now it’s $25/night per person. We’ve also got group rates available, so if you’ve got a whole mess of friends coming out, shoot us a message for pricing!

circuit of the americas motogp

In addition to breakfast, coffee, 2 awesome outdoor showers and facilities, we’re offering airport and beer store shuttles during the event this year! We ask that you give us a heads up so we can schedule picking you up. No hidden fees like other private Circuit of the Americas MotoGP campgrounds, and hey, we’re enthusiasts, not extortionists! Why not support fellow enthusiasts instead of lining the pockets of some dude with a downtown office? Seems like a no-brainer!

We’re planning on having more live music again, too, so it should be an all-around fun time! Even if you just come to park for the weekend we’ll have some entertainment to help pass the time while traffic clears out. We’ve moved a bunch of stuff around at the shop so there’s more parking available up front, and we’ll have a 6+ passenger golfkart to shuttle onsite and make beer/ice runs with. Less hiking equals more partying, right?? We hope so!

We look forward to seeing you this year, feel free to message with any questions you may have!

To book camping, go to the COTA Camping page.

To book parking, go to the COTA Parking page!

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COTA Camping & Parking for MotoGP/X-Games!

Howdy ya’ll, we’re gearing up for MotoGP, Red Fest and the X-Games in 2014! We’ll have our space available to our friends (new & old) for these two events, as well as any others! We’ve changed the Circuit of the Americas camping price structure a little bit, but it will have zero effect on most folks… those that it will effect are encouraged to email me and arrange a group rate! For those just here, we used to charge $50/night for a carload of campers. Now it’s $25/night per person. Sucks for the big groups (which were very few), a better deal for those that come in solo, and no effect to most of our campers which are pairs or couples! Again, CONTACT US for group rates and discounts for COTA camping, it’s super easy! Parking will continue to be $20/day for large events or $50 for a 3-Day pass, but we’re adding an Airport shuttle, an on-site/beer store shuttle, and if COTA will allow it, a shuttle to the track.

circuit of the americas camping, cota camping

More COTA Camping and Parking Changes/Updates:

  • AIRPORT SHUTTLE, subject to availability. If you’re booking camping with us, or arriving and camping with us, please LET US KNOW BEFOREHAND.
  • We can accept credit cards on-site or over the phone! For those that hate PayPal. We also accept checks mailed in, as well as cash.
  • For Formula 1 USGP, MotoGP and X-Games, we will have an on-site shuttle. This will be a 6-8 person golf cart which will shuttle you from the camping area in back up to the front gate. At night, this will also serve as a beer store/ice/supply shuttle to the nearby stores. Between the airport shuttle and the on-site shuttle, no need for a rental car!
  • MORE MUSIC! Yes, that’s right, we’ll have more music for events in 2014! No need to rush to the car and sit in traffic, we’ll have entertainment post-race!
  • Better parking! We just started doing this and we learn more every time! 2014 will see more spots up front as well as stripes for all events!
  • There’s some more admin/back end changes to streamline everything and make the weekend run smoother… but if you patronized us in 2013 and have any suggestions, please feel free to contact us!

circuit of the americas camping

Holy Ka-Kow Rocking out, 2013 USGP

Here’s some alternate routes to get to/from our spot on race day; the Moore Road route from the toll road avoids the huge backup at the FM812 exit on 130. The Peterson Road route will get you around the road blocks/traffic to get to the roll road and head North/South on 130:

Map-Peterson-Road

Map-Moore-Road

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COTA F1 USGP Camping & Parking!

Whew! We’ve been busier than the old one-eyed cat watching two mouse holes! But, reservations keep pouring in for USGP Camping and Parking for the upcoming Formula 1 race at COTA! Thanks to everybody that’s RSVP’d so far, lots of repeat customers that we can’t wait to see and some new faces we hope come back many more times in the future!

USGP Camping

To answer a couple questions that have kept coming up, it’s now been a year and we still haven’t had any issues walking to the track, so don’t worry about any of their publicized statements to the contrary. If they actually do enforce it we’ll work out a shuttle, but otherwise it’s less of a hike than from their furthest on-site lots, and a heck of a lot more fun! The showers are done and battle tested — I call them rustic but they’re functional and even garnered some compliments at MotoGP! We’ll still have breakfast, coffee, and nightly entertainment, and there’s plenty of space for people: our only concern is limiting the burden on our facilities, so keep on comin’!

We’ve got 3-day parking passes for $50, or single day for $20. To book a parking pass, head over to our COTA Parking page and select either the 3-Day Buy Now button or the Single Day Parking Pass Buy Now button.

Camping payment is still on the COTA Camping page.

Looking forward to seeing everybody!

-Chris

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X Games Camping & Parking!

X Games CampingESPN and COTA announced this week that Austin will be hosting the X Games in 2014, which is rad! So if you’re looking for an affordable place for X Games Camping or Parking, you’ve found the right place! We’re local racers, enthusiasts and supporters — when Chris isn’t racing cars he’s defying death on a brakeless fixed gear bicycle around Austin! So come on out, we’ll have some evening entertainment and we’re pretty much the most affordably priced place to park or camp within walking distance of COTA!

For the list of amenities, details, and how to book X Games Camping, head over to our COTA Camping page. For X Games parking, head to our COTA Parking page for a 3-Day pass, or a single day pass!

Obviously we’re big motorsports enthusiasts, and if you are too then come camp at the site of the first RallyCrosses in Central Texas! Heck, we love RallyCross so much we were in LA for the first RallyCross X Games competition back in 2007! A lot has changed with that event since then but it should be pretty awesome here at what is basically the fanciest racetrack in the country! We look forward to seeing all of ya’ll out here next year!

-Chris

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COTA MotoGP Parking

COTA MotoGP Parking

Do we still have room for COTA MotoGP Parking? YES! C’mon down, ya’ll! $20/day or $50 for a 3-day pass. Purchase a 3-Day pass by clicking Buy Now below. For single day passes, just show up! Cash only on-site.

13807 FM 812, Del Valle, TX 78617

Look for the checkered flags and racecars! Just 100 feet EAST of the COTA Lot P entrance on FM812 and across the road!

 




 

And don’t forget to stop by Wild Bubba’s Wild Game Grill at Turn 1 for lunch all 3 days after visiting us for MotoGP Parking! Bubba’s got BIG Buffalo hot dogs, burgers, and more in the building behind the Turn 1 grandstands!

COTA MotoGP Parking

COTA MotoGP Parking

COTA MotoGP Parking area at Chris Taylor Racing Services

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MotoGP Camping, Shop Updates & more!

COTA racecar rental, MotoGP CampingWow! It’s been a crazy couple of months… lots of new and exciting things happening in and around the shop! So here’s a quick update:

MotoGP Camping

We’re VERY excited to be hosting 50-100 of our fellow enthusiasts for Moto GP camping April 19-21! With 17 acres there should be plenty of room for everybody to spread out and keep off each others toes. We hope the weather will cooperate, and that we’ll get enough rain before then to get this burn ban lifted so we can have a good old fashioned, Texas-sized bonfire! But fear not, for those attending, we’ll have some grills available for you to cook on and hopefully a “burn ban approved” fire pit/area so we can gather ’round, roast marshmellows and listen to some FANTASTIC local, live music from our friend Matt A. Foster!

If you’re one of the folks doing MotoGP camping with us in a few weeks, stay tuned –we’ll be sending out a confirmation email with some maps and info about local amenities and landmarks.

Racecar Rentals

Harris Hill SRF Racecar RentalsAt this point I’d like to send a public thank you to all our rental customers so far this year! It’s great that we’ve got a world-class, several hundred million dollar racing facility across the street… and even greater that we’ve had so many wonderful customers that have been able to experience it in our equipment! But more importantly I’d like to thank Harris Hill Road for their continued support of our program. Without them we wouldn’t be able to get on track as quickly and as easily as we do! It’s because of them we can do full day and half day rentals and driver instruction pretty much any day of the week, any week of the year!

Shop Stuff

Lastly, I’ve been hard at work re-organizing the shop to handle all of our rental and customer cars… and I’m running out of room! I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to break ground on a bigger, newer, nicer shop here soon, but we’ll just have to wait and see. Interested in an investment opportunity? Shoot me a message! I’m looking to expand shop rental as well as F1 and MotoGP Camping facilities!

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Winding Road Magazine COTA tips mention!

COTA tips

I’m super stoked how much visibilty my COTA Walkthrough post has gotten — I’m just a schmuck with some racecars, but everybody’s been SUPER complimentary and thanked me for posting it which gives me the warm fuzzies. But to have an online magazine mention and link my COTA tips is just incredible! If you haven’t read through my writeup, go check it out, and if you haven’t read Winding Road before, go check out their April issue!

Other current events:

The BFG Super Tour put on by Lone Star Region, SCCA at COTA is all sold out already, but if you’ll be in the neighborhood come stop by the trailer and say hi! I’ll have an RX7 and the Harris Hill Road Formula Ford there. And if you’re looking for a rental for BMW Club or any other event, drop me a note!

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COTA Walkthrough!

COTA walk through

Everybody that hasn’t been on track at COTA yet is foaming at the mouth, and everybody that has is in a daze from how amazing, fast, and technical this brand new, $400 million dollar facility is. I’ve been around it a couple of times over the last few months, and though I’ve probably got 20 laps on it I still don’t have a firm grasp on things… but I do think I know a good start to running a quick lap, and here it is.

But first, a disclaimer! I’m not a “pro” driver trying to fund a Grand-Am ride. I’m not holding out on this in the hopes that you’ll pay me to tell you my secrets. I’ve always been a budget racer, scraping money and sweet talking my way into track time to learn new tracks, and that’s why I’ve written this — for the beginners or budget racers that can’t afford a spot on a test day or a $50,000 track rental. If you’re on a budget but want somebody to help coach you, I’d be glad to help — I can promise I’m a lot more affordable than a guy that’s trying to pay for a mortgage and a Pro ride! If you’ve got a bunch of laps and think I missed something — feel free to add anything in the comments!

This is all from my experience in one of the Spec Racer Fords and would be most applicable to a low-power momentum car. If you want to know the braking points in a Porsche 997 please write your questions on the back of a $100 bill and mail them to me at the address in the contact info page!

cota-map

Turn 1

Probably the most famous and talked about turn on the track, I place little importance on “nailing” this corner. It leads into the Esses which are pretty fast, but it’s so wide you have to decide whether you want to take a wide arc and get the power down for T2 or protect the inside line in a race. The only advice I’m going to give is in a low-power car, I brake at the white line painted across the track and don’t clip the curb as it unsettles the car too much — but get as close to it as you can. On the power shortly after turn in, and I shift to 4th before turn in for 2.

Turn 2

I usually enter Turn 2 about mid track. In something with less than 150HP you don’t need the width of the track so you’re running the shortest distance between 2 points, and getting to the far right side of the track for the entrance to Turn 3 and the Esses.

Turn 3-4-5

Look closely at your track map and you’ll see that the esses become wider and there is a shorter distance to complete them in. So what’s our plan for that? Early apexes! You can’t straighten them out because they’re different shapes and arcs and timing is everything. You’ll have to feel this one out on your own, but keep in mind that if you lose a few mph through these it’s not as big of a deal as that same couple of mph in T8…

Turn 6-7-8, 9 & 10

circuit-of-the-americas-map

The Esses are really these 6 turns, leading onto the kink (Turn 10) and short straight into the second hard braking zone, Turn 11. Now if you’ve read Ross Bentley’s books, before even reading this primer you’ve printed out your track map, studied it, and circled a couple of important turns to focus on — those that lead onto the longest straights. Why do I bring this up now? Look at your track map again. That section from Turn 8-11 is a long section of track, so while it’s not THE most important corner, it’s definitely in the Top 5, and I’d say it’s the third most important, simply because it’s the most likely to be overlooked.

Which is why after you’ve early-apexed 3, 4 and 5, you want to get track left, left foot brake and late apex so you can corner and stay track right for 7. There’s a lot happening in this short section so bear with me. We’re throwing away 7 to make sure that we carry as much speed as possible THROUGH Turn 8. There’s also a STEEP rise in the track, and we’re coming in here in the middle-top of 4th gear. Unless you’ve got some torque beast, I don’t think you’ll carry 4th over the hill, so we have to downshift too, but none of these turns are slow, on the brakes, heel-toe to 3rd turns. So what do I do? After about 40 late apex turns, a lot of throttle steer and left foot braking, stay track left out of T7 and shift to 3rd before turn in for 8. On the throttle immediately after shifting, through 8 and 9, over the crest of the hill, flat through 10 and down the short straight to 11.

Turn 11

Turn 11 is THE MOST important turn to get right on the entire track because it leads onto the longest straight on the entire track with a slow turn at the end. If T1 was a sweeping turn I’d focus on it, but all these long straights have acute angle turns at the end of them. Beyond that, 11 isn’t that tricky of a turn. Learn your braking points, decide whether you want the widest arc or protect the inside line, and get on the gas as soon as humanly possible. The curbing at track out is smooth, but be careful of the astroturf — that stuff has ZERO traction and you’ll go nowhere in a hurry if you hit that.

If you’re in a low-HP car, once you get to 5th gear it’s time to bust out the book or Kindle or iPod and wait for the long trip to 12.

Turn 12

I kept coming out of 12, 5+ feet from the curbing thinking “damn! I could’ve carried more speed through there!”. Every. Lap. I don’t know how much speed one can feasibly carry through, but I can say you’ll find your braking markers are close to the 150-100 range than the 300 I started at.

Turn 13-14-14a?-15

Fairly straight forward. 13 is a late apex (noticing a trend?) to 14 and the kink after 14 before 15, which I guess is 14a. My brain wanted me to stay wide for 14A so I could have a wide arc and late apex 15, but I don’t have a firm judgement on this yet. My best judgement is least distance through this, getting the best run possible out of 15. And don’t clip the curb, without fail despite a good line clipping the curb even a little unbalanced the car and found me off the throttle at track out every time.

Turn 16-17-18

This is actually 4 “turns” if you look at a map, but they’ve labelled it 3. Getting your timing right key otherwise you end up sawing at the wheel and making corrections the whole time. With good grip and low-HP this is all on-throttle with a little throttle steer and sissy left foot braking to set the nose. I combine 16 and 17, get as far track left as possible on the tiny straight section, power down for 18 and get ready for the last 2 corners!

Turn 19

What a corner… off camber, as wide as a “your momma” joke and fun. Another corner that always had me thinking “I just scrubbed 10mph off I didn’t need to”. Hit the apex right and I think this is a lift, left foot brake set the nose and GAS GAS GAS. Carry a ton of speed in and do it right and you’ll be rewarded with a huge drive to Turn 20. Miss the apex 2 inches and you’ll find yourself so far off course you’ll be dancing around a hat at the tejano club down the road.

Turn 20

Surprise! Late apex! Whatever you do, don’t turn in early. This is another one of the most important corners, so if you’re going to sit yourself down and concentrate on a few, this is one of them. Like 15, I found clipping the inside curbing incredibly detrimental. The oustide is smooth so you’ll want to wait, wait, turn in and track out to the curb, then get your waving arm ready for all your fans on the front straight.

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COTA Racecar Rental – MVP Track Time!

COTA racecar rentals

SRF in COTA F1 garage

Whew, what a weekend! A few months back, I got a call about a COTA racecar rental for a 3 day event in February with MVP Track Time. Well, it ddin’t start off like that! But rather than hassle with dragging his racecar down from Michigan, my customer decided an arrive-and-drive program would suit him better! Arrangements were made, both SRF’s were prepped, and we loaded in Thursday evening! Ted got a garage which we shared with Motorsports Southwest, the US importer of Wolf Racing Cars. What a treat to be in an F1 garage for 3 days! And Dean and his crew were a pleasure to share a garage with — and being a fellow local, it was astounding the number of common acquaintances we had!

Day 1

COTA racecar rentalFriday dawned clear and cool. The drivers meeting saw more familiar faces than I was expecting, including some hot-shot pro drivers!  No issues for us in the morning as Ted got used to the SRF. Before lunch a couple of dudes found me and asked about the car in the trailer. “Is it for rent?” Of course! They were having problems with their GT2 and wanted to salvage the long weekend. The  black car just ran nonstop all day the last time it went out, so it looked to be a fun and profitable weekend… Until the first session, when the car developed an issue on the long straight. 3 days later I still don’t have it completely solved, but it seems to be an electrical issue from being full throttle for that long a period of time.

COTA racecar rentalDay 2

One Porsche into the fence, Keith Verges had a lower control arm bolt snap and ended up in the gravel trap in T1. No serious injuries though, just some broken parts! A long day of twiddling with things and chasing cars around. Red #34 just keeps chugging along!

Day 3

Bigger issues with black car… stopped on track completely, wouldn’t refire. After sitting a minute, started immediately in the paddock. I think it’s a coil pack. I unplugged and plugged it back in and checked all the plug wires just before it started. So some unknowns. And guess what? The red car just kept chugging along all day!


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COTA Parking, Camping, and Info

I’ve gotten a couple emails asking about parking and camping for events at COTA, and rather than write a book on the COTA parking and camping page I’ll try to explain a little real quick here:

Chris COTA ParkingCampers and folks looking to park are welcome year round, whether you’re in town for a track day, SCCA race, solar car expo, TV shoot or one of the big events like F1, MotoGP, Grand-AM, V8 Supercars or Kenny Chesney, we’ll be glad to have you with us! Prices vary because we only offer a complete suite of services for the big events (like complimentary breakfast and coffee), and because of demand. We’ve also got discounts for volunteers at SCCA events and folks leasing cars from us for track days. There are also group discounts for those that can commit ahead of time, so if you and your friends are thinking about visiting us, tell ’em to pony up!

I’m working hard clearing more room in back every day so that folks looking to camp can have their own space if they want it, or be near their friends while maintaining privacy — we’ve got 17 acres so there’s lots of room! If you’ve got an RV and need to dump, we have 2 dump connections next to the shop building. If you want to stay hooked up to one, you’ll need to contact me to see about pricing. If you’re staying with us you’re more than welcome to dump coming in, as many times as you need during your stay, and again before you leave! There’s also multiple water hookups nearby, but as of January, 2013 we do not have water, sewer and power at individual camping spots. If demand is there, we’ll be glad to build those, so come camp with us this year and show us it’s worth the investment!

Thanks to those that have already contacted me, and if you still have any questions or to request a group rate, head over to the Contact Page and let me know how many folks you’re expecting and how many tents/RVs!

– Chris