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Circuit of the Americas

Austin, Texas, USA
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MX-5 Miata
911 GT3 RS 4.0
Yamaha FZ1
F1 Car
3.43 MI
5.52 KM
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*PLEASE NOTE* The racing lines and simulations shown here are based on a simplified analysis that does not incorporate 3D effects such as camber and elevation, track irregularities, or surface conditions. It assumes perfect grip and perfect pilot control. Always temper your approach to a racetrack with common sense and an awareness of your skill level. Be safe out there!
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Lap Times Explained

Each column represents a vehicle driven on different racing lines. For example, the first row of the first column is the time for the Miata driven on its own line. The second row represents the Miata driven on the Porsche's racing line, and so on. It is expected that when a vehicle is driven on its own line (large font) the lap time will be the quickest. Otherwise, Al has not done his job very well.

Line Miata GT3 RS Moto F1 beta
Miata 2'39.42 +1.52 +0.18 +0.25
GT3 RS +1.56 2'15.36 -1.19 +0.81
Moto +3.85 +2.32 2'18.90 +3.31
F1 +0.67 +1.85 +0.40 1'32.12

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Circuit of the Americas

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You are welcome to suggest a resource for Circuit of the Americas. Valuable resources include:
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Resources which are excellent demonstrations or discussions of the racing line at this circuit will be added to the page. Thank you for contributing!

The Racing Line at Circuit of the Americas

Circuit of the Americas is a gorgeous track, conceived in 2010 and completed just a couple years later. It is the first track in the United States to be purpose-built for Formula 1 racing, with the innagural F1 race having taken place in November of 2012. The track hosts several other bigtime events, including the Texas Motorcycle Grand Prix, MotoGP, American Le Mans, and the Rolex Sports Car Series. In part designed by Hermann Tilke, the mastermind behind many of the current F1 circuits, COTA features two big straights and a variety of corners, as well as an overall length that dwarfs most US road courses. In the flowing curves of the front section and the technical turns in the back, achieving the proper racing line requires careful study and acquired flow.

Beginning with Turn 1, the GT3 RS and Motorcycle differ from the Miata and F1 in that they should exit narrow and get back to the far left edge in preparation for 2. Most drivers fail to do this, however. Turn 3, the first of the esses, should be entered from around mid-track. All vehicles take a fairly shallow double apex at Turn 6, then come out of Turn 7 slightly right of center, touching the right curbing of 8 very early in the turn. Perhaps beacuse a straight follows, most onboard footage shows drivers setting up wide for Turn 8, but this is not the way to go.

Moving on to the back section, Turns 12-19, there are some subtleties between the different lines that are evident from the map. One place that many drivers get consistently wrong, however, is entering Turn 15. Most vehicles should stay left after exiting 14 and actually hit both apexes preceding 15. Then they swing out to around mid-track before tightening it back in toward the final apex at 15. Arriving at Turn 16, the Miata and F1 cars stay wide of the first apex. After Turns 19 and 20, take a breather down front straight that wraps up this 3.43 mile beauty.

Nine Laps in a Miata

Founder's Notes

The last lap in this session is a 2'44.3, starting at the 19:50 mark in the video. Less than 7 seconds off Al's pace on a track this size is very good. Just imagine how much of a trendsetter the first driver to stay to the left when entering Turn 15 will be! The line through 16 is just about perfect. It's important for the Miata to enter left of the first apex, which this driver does. The car should technically be a bit wide of the third apex, also.

Michael Johnson - Stock VW TDI Cup

Founder's Notes

Michael Johnson submitted this video in taken in a bone stock TDI Cup. It makes me wonder how much the lower grip affects the recommended line. Sounds like a good blog post. While this lap is pretty good, I have to do my duty and scrutinize...

In general, I would say that there looks to be a bit too much cone spotting - i.e. waiting for the demarcated turn-in point and then turning in abruptly. Going the fastest possible through most turns requires smoothly transitioning from braking to steering, and braking deeper than such sharp turn-in allows.

Starting with Turn 2, the setup is wider left than it needs to be. Things are good until Turn 7, where early turn-in throws the line off (incidentally, more gradual turn-in helps alleviate such problems). Corner speed at 12 looks a little low but not too bad.

The biggest thing that jumped out at me was in Turn 15, where the car is pointing virtually straight at the outside of the track (straight at the cone, of course) after passing the end of the curbing on the left. This may be what instructors say to do, but frankly it's not right. It requires a much slower corner speed as well as extra distance. The second Miata video (above) is a more correct approach.

To wrap it up, there doesn't seem to be much gain in entering Turn 16 from all the way to the left - the recommended line is actually to the right of mid-track.

Not to detract from Michael's efforts...nice lap and thanks for the video.

2010 Corvette ZR1 2'24.00 Lap

Founder's Notes

Solid driving. I see three areas that differ significantly from the optimized line, that are probably costing time. Exiting Turn 1, there is a period where of driving in a straight line slightly left of mid-track. Driving to the left edge to set up for Turn 2 would allow it to be taken at a higher speed. This driver is also entering Turn 8 a bit wide, but this is pretty minor. At Turn 15, on the other hand, the wide entry is costing significant time.

Driver's Eye: Leh Keen in Beast Mode

Founder's Notes

The fastest race lap from this event in 2012 was 2'13.19. I think this video is from 2013, but I timed this lap at around 2'10. Pretty amazing. Despite the intricacies of this track, Leh agrees with Al's line quite well. At Turn 1, another option would be to exit closer to the left, then turn in to Turn 2 from the far left edge.

Bill Auberlen - Guided Lap in BMW GS M3

Founder's Notes

The lines in Turns 1-3 don't agree with Al too well, but other than that everything is pretty spot on. Bill stays left when entering 15, unlike most amateur drivers, although he does swing out farther than is necessary before the second apex.