United States Grand Prix tickets now on sale

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Three-day passes for the 2014 Formula One United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas are now on sale.

Single-day passes for the Oct. 31-Nov. 2 event will go on sale later this summer.

Prices for the three-day passes start at $169 and include tickets for Friday’s practice sessions, Saturday’s practice and qualifying sessions, and Sunday’s Grand Prix main event.

They can be purchased online at CircuitOfTheAmericas.com and Ticketmaster.com, and by phone at 800-745-3000.

Here’s how the three-day pass prices breakdown:

  • General Admission – $169
  • Reserved Grandstand Bleachers (Turns 3, 4, 5, 9, and 11) – $299
  • Reserved Grandstand Bleachers (Turn 12) – $499
  • Reserved Premium Seats (Main Grandstand Lower, East, and West, Turns 1 and 15) – $550 to $675
  • Reserved Premium Seats (Main Grandstand Mezzanine or Club Level) – $1,000 to $1,200

COTA also has a hotel booking site available for fans that want to make their travel plans early at CircuitOfTheAmericas.com/BookARoom.

“We look forward to welcoming Formula 1 fans from around the world back to Austin, Texas, for another incredible weekend of world-class racing and entertainment served up Texas-style,” said COTA president/CEO Jason Dial in a statement. “Just two races into the new season, and we’re already seeing the significant impact the new car designs and engines are having on the competition.

“You really can’t take anything for granted this season. That means the F1 USGP will be another must-attend race for diehard fans, eager to see how the new cars take to our demanding track in Austin.”

In addition to the on-track action, fans will be surrounded by myriad entertainment opportunities – both on the COTA grounds (autograph sessions, enhanced fan hospitality, and a post-race track invasion and concert at the nearby Austin360 Amphitheater) and in downtown Austin, with the sprawling Austin Fan Fest street party.

“The Formula 1 United States Grand Prix is one of the biggest sports parties of the year, and we’re eager to show our members and guests another fantastic time this fall,” Dial added.

Coyne transitioning from underdog to Indy 500 threat

Photo: IndyCar
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For most of the team’s existence, Dale Coyne Racing has been the Chicago Cubs of American Open Wheel Racing – a team whose history was more defined by failures, at times comically so, than success.

The last decade, however, has seen the tide completely change. In 2007, they scored three podium finishes with Bruno Junqueira. In 2009, they won at Watkins Glen with the late Justin Wilson.

The combination won again at Texas Motor Speedway in 2012, and finished sixth in the 2013 Verizon IndyCar Series championship. That same year, Mike Conway took a shock win for them in Race 1 at the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit.

Carlos Huertas scored an upset win for them in Race 1 at the Houston double-header in 2014, and while 2015 and 2016 yielded no wins, Tristan Vautier and Conor Daly gave them several strong runs – Vautier’s best finish was fourth in Race 2 at Detroit, while Daly finished second in Race 1 at Detroit, finished fourth at Watkins Glen, and scored a trio of sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, Race 2 at Detroit, and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

And 2017 was set to possibly be the best year the team has ever had. Sebastien Bourdais gave the team a popular win in the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, and then rookie Ed Jones scored back-to-back top tens – 10th and sixth – at St. Pete and the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach to start his career.

But, things started unraveling at the Indianapolis 500. Bourdais appeared set to be in the Fast Nine Pole Shootout during his first qualifying run – both of his first two laps were above 231 mph –  before his horrifying crash in Turn 2.

While Jones qualified an impressive 11th and finished an even more impressive third, results for the rest of the season became hard to come by – Jones only scored two more Top 10s, with a best result of seventh at Road America.

But, retooled for 2018, the Coyne team is a legitimate threat at the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Bourdais, whose No. 18 Honda features new sponsorship from SealMaster and now ownership partners in Jimmy Vasser and James “Sulli” Sullivan, has a win already, again at St. Pete, and sits third in the championship.

And Bourdais may also be Honda’s best hope, given that he was the fastest Honda in qualifying – he’ll start fifth behind Ed Carpenter, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, and Josef Newgarden.

“I think it speaks volumes about their work, their passion and their dedication to this program, Dale (Coyne), Jimmy (Vasser) and Sulli (James Sullivan) and everybody from top to bottom. I can’t thank them enough for the opportunity, for the support,” Bourdais said of the team’s effort.

Rookie Zachary Claman De Melo has been progressing nicely, and his Month of May has been very solid – he finished 12th at the INDYCAR Grand Prix on the IMS Road Course and qualified a strong 13th for the “500.”

“It’s been surreal to be here as rookie. I’m a bit at a loss for words,” Claman De Melo revealed after qualifying. “The fans, driving around this place, being with the team, everything is amazing. I have a great engineer, a great group of experienced mechanics at Dale Coyne Racing.”

While Conor Daly and Pippa Mann struggled in one-off entries, with Mann getting bumped out of the field in Saturday qualifying, Daly’s entry essentially puts three Coyne cars in the race – Daly’s No. 17 United States Air Force Honda is a Dale Coyne car that has been leased to Thom Burns Racing.

Rest assured, the days of Coyne being an “also ran” are long gone, and a Coyne car ending up in Victory Lane at the biggest race of the year would complete the Chicago Cubs analogy – the Cubs won a World Series title in 2016, and an Indy 500 triumph would be the crowning achievement in Coyne’s career.

Follow@KyleMLavigne