Circuit of The Americas, locally known as COTA, is regarded as one of the top venues in the United States for motorsports and entertainment. A purpose built venue specifically for Formula 1 racing, COTA also provides fans and visitors with interactive programming and activities from regular tours and go kart racing to outdoor concerts in the summer and a Winter Wonderland holiday festival and more. Find out how to experience COTA for yourself during your visit to Austin, Texas.
COTA can be found on 1,500 acres of Texas Hill Country, 15 miles southeast of downtown Austin. The 120,000 maximum capacity track was completed in 2012, and includes the racetrack, Austin360 Amphitheater, and is currently undergoing construction of a soccer field that will be completed in 2019.
Circuit of The Americas has hosted the biggest names in racing since 2012. COTA is the only place in the United States that hosts Formula 1 racing with the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix. The Formula 1 USGP returns to Austin this year from October 19-21.
Another exciting annual racing event is the world’s premier motorcycle racing championship, the MotoGP Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas. Don’t miss out on witnessing emerging talent and the excitement of Grand Prix racing in the ultimate test for the finest athletes and machinery in motorcycle racing.
This year, the World RX Championship is bringing sprint-style automobile racing to Austin for the first time with the FIA World Rallycross Championship. Drivers will be equipped with RX Supercars hitting speeds up to 600bhp, with the ability to accelerate from 0-60mph in less than two seconds. In addition to the rallycross, COTA will have multiple activations and entertainment throughout the weekend.
While many visitors may be familiar with COTA as a racetrack, it offers so many more experiences for people who want to experience the Live Music Capital of the World® in action. The Austin360 Amphitheater is an outdoor concert venue situated in the heart of Circuit of The Americas. This summer, performers at the Austin360 Amphitheater include the Thirty Seconds to Mars, Kenny Chesney, Dave Matthews Band, Kesha and Macklemore, Post Malone and more.
Summer festivals and annual events at the amphitheater include the JMBLYA Music Festival on May 5, featuring J. Cole, Migos, Cardi B Kevin Gates and more. And Willie Nelson returns this Independence Day to host the annual 4th of July Picnic at the Austin360 Amphitheater. This day-long music festivals is one of Austin’s most beloved events, featuring a star studded lineup and a patriotic fireworks display when the sun goes down.
Headed to Austin in between racing events and concert dates? COTA offers visitors plenty of other opportunities to experience the track. From March until July, visitors can ride around the track on two wheels every Tuesday night as part of the Bicycle Sport Shop Bike Night. Bikers of all skill levels are welcome to participate in this unique event.
The newest experience at the track, COTA Karting, is a fun activity for the whole family. Race your friends and family on the world class go kart track in motorized karts ranging from Junior Karts up to the 55 mph. Champ Karts. For the more serious driver, The Audi Driving Experience allows racing fans the opportunity to drive some of the world’s fastest cars around the top racetrack in America. Program lengths range from four hours to two full days, and participants learn racing skills and tricks from professional racing instructors.
For those who prefer to let the professionals take the wheel, guided shuttle tours are available every Saturday and Sunday, and stops include COTA's 3.4-mile track, the Austin360 Amphitheater, the Pit and Paddock Building where teams prepare and celebrities and VIPs mingle on raceday, race control and, of course, the winner’s podium.
Every holiday season, COTA transforms into a Winter Wonderland. Light displays, a petting zoo, food trucks, kid-friendly activities and Santa’s workshop are just a few some of the many popular aspects of the event.
This May, Dirtybird BBQ heads to the Circuit for the first stop on its national tour. Attendees can expect great food and a great time, with an authentic BBQ feast and sets from live DJs throughout the day.
Contributed by Visit Austin Marketing Communications Intern Jonah Camberg. All images courtesy of Circuit of The Americas.