Fan events set to light up United States GP weekend in Austin

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In just three years, the United States Grand Prix has established itself as a favorite not only in the Formula 1 paddock, but also in the wider F1 community thanks to some fantastic fan events that have lit up the race weekend.

For 2014, the fan focus is set to continue. Just as the cities of Melbourne and Montreal become abuzz with F1 when the sport rolls into town, Austin will be no different. Besides the on-track action from Friday through to Sunday, there are a number of events in the centre of town that will make it a weekend to remember and enjoy.

Here are some of the big fan events taking place in Austin over the GP weekend.

Red Bull/Infiniti Show Run featuring Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel
Wednesday 29th October, Congress Avenue, 12pm CT

Formula 1 is set to grace downtown Austin as Daniel Ricciardo takes to the city streets in his teammate’s championship-winning RB7 car from 2011. Sebastian will be getting behind the wheel of the Infiniti Q50 road car he helped to design, and will be giving rides to a few lucky fans on the Wednesday of the race.

For more information, click here.

Austin Fans’ Forum courtesy of COTA and the Grand Prix Investors Fund
Wednesday 29th October, Gibson Showroom, 3601 S. Congress Ave., in the Penn Field complex, 6pm CT (doors at 5:30)

Following from the success of last year’s FOTA (now defunct) fans’ forum in Austin, the event has been revived for this year’s race thanks to the Circuit of The Americas and the Grand Prix Investors Fund. The line-up is set to be announced next week by former FOTA general secretary Oliver Weingarten, and it will once again be hosted by CNBC’s Brian Sullivan. This will give fans a unique opportunity to pose some questions to the drivers ahead of the race weekend.

For more information, click here.

Buxton’s Big Time Bash benefitting Meals on Wheels
Thursday 30th October, Brazos Hall 204 East 4th Street, 7pm CT (doors at 6)

NBCSN’s very own Will Buxton will be hosting the third annual Buxton’s Big Time Bash in aid of Meals on Wheels on the Thursday of the race weekend. Once again, it promises to be a fantastic event, and this year will even feature the premiere of NBCSN’s Road to Mercedes, following on from Road to Ferrari. Entry will be a $5 donation to Meals on Wheels at the door, with a cash bar available. The event is set to continue through until midnight at Brazos Hall.

For more information, click here.

COTA Fan Fest
Friday 31st October – November 2nd, downtown Austin

Accompanying the racing on track, the COTA Fan Fest will hit downtown Austin with a number of great live music acts and shows across all three days.

For more information, click here.

And of course, besides the fantastic fan events, NBC, NBCSN and Live Extra will be bringing you all of the action from COTA as Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg continue to fight at the front of the field for the 2014 drivers’ championship.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.