Start Your Engines
Austin is getting revved up for driving experiences that’ll put anyone in the fast lane.
Photo by Kurt Bradley
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When you ask most people what they think Austin is known for, “The Live Music Capital of the World” is often mentioned. This was a phrase coined long ago, and since then the city has taken on a very different character. In the late 1990s, the tech boom brought a new surge of money to Austin, and with that came new tastes. Younger consumers wanted new houses, better options for going out for dinner and drinks, and faster cars. Exotic cars are not totally foreign to Austin, but in recent years you can see a greater concentration of them popping up around town, in front of hotel and restaurant valet lines.
In 2011, news came to light that Formula One (F1) may return to the United States for the first time since 2007. Tavo Hellmund, a fellow Texan, established a relationship with Formula One chief Bernie Eccelstone, and that there was conversation of not only F1 coming back to the U.S. but to Texas. When F1 in Texas became reality and the Circuit of the Americas was hosting its first Formula One United States Grand Prix, the excitement couldn't be ignored. Casual fans became enamored with the experience of the highest level of competitive racing, and their craving for more was undeniable. They wanted to drive fast cars around tracks and pretend they were Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton. Captivated by the opportunity, a few Central Texas companies have come about, with unique offerings to entice the excitement of the wannabe racing driver.