Hungry? Go hunting. Bored? Find a shooting range. Does someone pose an immediate threat to your life? Defend yourself. Is there too much water trapped in the awnings of your $400 million FIA Grade 1-rated Formula One track? Um, wait a second, this is a new one. Behold: the most Texan track fix ever.
Disclaimer: don’t try this at home. Your neighbors won’t appreciate it.
Circuit of the Americas is no stranger to foul weather, as the lovely ridge that produces the steep hill up to Turn 1 also tends to get pounded with nastier weather than the lower elevations of central Austin. The grandstands are still missing part of their awnings from a previous storm that hit the facility, however, the ones that were left didn’t drain fast enough for circuit officials’ liking.
So, in order to prevent an awning from failing and dumping water onto a track day session, COTA staff cleared the track so a security worker could poke holes in the awning with bullets.
I’ll be honest: I’m not sure this was the best idea given what could have happened with a misfire or a stray bullet, but it does at least look like they made sure everyone was well clear of the stands before firing. (We’ve reached out to COTA for further explanation and will update the story if we hear back.)
Maybe it’s time to replace these with more porous awnings anyway? When storms get too bad out there, we all have to hide under the solid parts of the grandstand anyway.
[H/T Ron and Marc!]