Photo: VUE Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Australian V8 Supercars will debut at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin May 17-19. The series’ first US race, the V8 Supercars Austin 400, will feature 4 x 100 km races rune on COTA’s shorter 2.3 mile circuit, two on Saturday and two on Sunday. A qualifying session will be held each morning.
Former Aussie Champion and NASCAR stalwart Marcos Ambrose said the short track was ideally suited to his former category and he looked forward to watching his beloved V8 Supercars break into the American market.
"The V8s are running the short circuit and that is somewhat unknown. But I think it might be the better choice. It is going to be very technical," Ambrose said. "The first corner will be interesting. I was so, so afraid of a crisis situation at the start of the Formula 1 race but I guess they took care of each other and got through it. The problem is that you almost do a 180 (degree turn) and, with the wide entry, you can go in there four abreast, but four abreast cannot come out."
Nissan and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG have joined series stalwarts Ford and Holden for 2013. For the Austin weekend the GM Holden Commodores will carry Chevrolet badging. Holden is 6 for 6 in Australian V8 Supercars this year, winning both legs of the season-opening Clipsal 500 in Adelaide (Craig Lowndes, Red Bull Racing Australia and Shane Van Gisbergen, Tekno Team VIP) and all four races in the exhibition race at the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix in Melbourne (3 x Fabian Coulthard, Team BOC and Lockwood Racing and 1 x Scott McLaughlin, Fujitsu Racing GRM).
The series’ third stop is this weekend, the Tasmania Microsoft Office 365 at Symmons Plains. Red Bull Racing’s Jamie Whincup will start his Holden on the pole, with Coulthard lining up in P2. You can see a video preview of the race below.
With multiple short races on many of the weekends, consistency counts for at least as much in V8 Supercars as any other series. Of the top three drivers in the championship standings only leader Lowndes (279 points) has won a race this year. Teammate Whincup is second in the standings at 267, with Will Davison in the No. 6 Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford Falcon third at 240.
The Top 3 teams entering the Tasmanian weekend are Red Bull (546), Pepsi Max (351), and Tekno (318).
The Pirelli World Challenge Championships will also race at Circuit of the Americas May 17-19. Cadillac, Audi, KIA, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Volvo all compete in the series. Johnny O’Connell, a four-time class winner at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and overall winner at Sebring and the Rolex 24 at Daytona is among the Pirelli World Challenge’s drivers.