The 3.427-mile (5.515 km) Circuit of the Americas in Travis County, Texas, near Austin, is due to hold the Formula One United States Grand Prix on November 18, 2012, the penultimate round of the season.
Plans have been unveiled for a round of the MotoGP World Championship for the 2013 season, with the race to be titled the Texas Grand Prix. V8 Supercars has also announced plans to hold a race on the track in 2013. The American Le Mans Series is also slated to hold a race at the circuit in the same year.
The circuit and Grand Prix, first proposed in the middle of 2010, will be the first in the United States to be purpose-built for Formula One. The layout was conceived by promoter Tavo Hellmund and 1993 Motorcycle World Champion Kevin Schwantz with the assistance of German architect and circuit designer Hermann Tilke.
In an episode of Speed TV's Wind Tunnel broadcast in August 2010, Hellmund revealed that the circuit would be made up of twenty turns with an elevation change of 133 feet. The final plan of the circuit was released on September 1, 2010, showing a design inspired by the European tradition of sculpting the circuit to the contours of the land and draws from several European circuits, including a recreation of Silverstone's Maggotts-Becketts-Chapel sequence, Hockenheim's arena bends, and a replica of Istanbul's Turn Eight. Other corners were loosely inspired by the Senna 'S' at Interlagos and the Osterreichring's Sebring-Auspuffkurve.
The spectator capacity of the course is estimated to be one hundred thousand with the use of permanent and temporary seating facilities.
One of the unique features of the circuit is a deliberate widening of the circuit in the corners, to encourage drivers to follow multiple racing lines. A similar feature has been used at the Buddh International Circuit in India, where the circuit widens on the approach to certain corners.
The circuit will be one of only a handful on the 2012 calendar to be run counter-clockwise, the others being Marina Bay, the Korean International Circuit, Yas Marina, and Interlagos. Because of this, the circuit contains more left-hand turns than right-hand ones, and so will put greater physical demands on the drivers, particularly on their necks.
From the start line, the cars will climb to the first corner - the highest point of the circuit - with the apex of the corner positioned on the crest of the hill. They will descend back down the hill to navigate a series of fast sweepers modelled on Silverstone's Maggotts-Becketts-Chapel complex and through a blind corner at Turn 10, taking them to the far end of the circuit and a hairpin at Turn 11. The cars will then follow a 0.62-mile straight back towards the pit and paddock area before entering the final sector of the lap and weaving through a series of corners modelled on Hockenheim's stadium section. This will be followed by a downhill, multi-apex corner with limited run-off before the final two corners of the circuit, a pair of left-hand bends that return the cars to the main straight.