USF1 to test F1 car in America

USF1 will test in the shadow of Barber Motorsports Park's massive spider

USF1 will test in the shadow of Barber Motorsports Park's massive spider

USF1 has confirmed its 2010 F1 preparations will begin at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama. Peter Windsor told the official F1 website:

We?ve got the dispensation from the FIA, which is fantastic, because we are not based in Europe. We are the only team that does have a test circuit outside Europe, so it is totally logical for us that we run the car the first time in the US at the beginning of February.

See below for more pictures and a map of the track.

The 17-turn circuit is around 400 miles from USF1′s base in Charlotte, North Carolina. It’s one of America’s newest tracks having opened in 2003.

The winding layout features rather more gradient than you would see on a typical modern F1 track. It is also quite a bit shorter than a typical F1 track at 3.7km (2.38 miles).

It also has one very unusual addition – a series of sculptures of giant animals including a spider and a dragonfly.

The lap record at the track is a 1’09.455 set by Will Power during an IRL test. IF USF1′s car can’t beat that we’ll know they’re in trouble.

USF1 will join the other F1 teams to test in Spain before the season begins at Bahrain, which suggests that although their Barber test dates have not been confirmed they must be quite early in February.

If you’re an F1 fan in America who’s planning to go and see the test please leave a comment below.

Barber Motorsports Park track pictures

The Barber Motorsports Park has been used for testing by the Indy Racing League, which will race there for the first time later this year. Here are some pictures from their test which give a good impression of what the track looks like:

Barber Motorsports Park track map


View Larger Map

Image (C) Indy Racing League

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89 comments on USF1 to test F1 car in America

  1. Brad D said on 8th January 2010, 15:50

    I live about an hour from Charlotte and I’ve been to Barber before and it’s a great track. However, it would be much more logical to test at Virginia International Raceway. It’s only about 3-4 hours away on the NC/VA border and is by far the best circuit in the US. It’s in the middle of nowhere, but ask anyone who’s driven it, professional or otherwise (I’ve driven it in the otherwise category), and they’ll tell you it’s great. Especially the pros. Has a little bit of everything and would be great for testing. A lot of drivers in other series will show up to drive in the Daytona series race just for kicks. Check it out on google maps if you you get a chance. It’s just outside a town called Danville, Virginia.

  2. If I were closer I wold so go. But I am not.

  3. I live in Atlanta so I’m pretty much right between Charlotte and the Barber track!! My Dad and I will be there “for sure”. Anyone else going?

    Kieth, can you help by posting dates and times as soon as you see them? I’ll take my cameras out there and try to get some good pics!

    I sure hope everyone that says USF1 won’t be there is wrong. Even if they are at the back, I think this will be good for F1 and the US, and it will be good for me!

  4. Monark192 said on 8th January 2010, 17:10

    I would be surprised if they go faster than the IRL cars straight out of the box. Ferrari didnt manage it at Laguna Seca and while Toyota did, it was a sorted car with an experienced driver and it took a few laps.
    http://www.autoblog.com/2006/08/20/toyota-f1s-ricardo-zonta-sets-laguna-seca-record/

    • Mark Z said on 9th January 2010, 7:18

      Actually, the Laguna Seca track record that Toyota were gunning for was set by a Champ Car, not an IRL car. Sadly, the IndyCars now used in the IRL have their engines detuned for reliability and are typically two or three seconds slower…at least. IIRC, a couple years ago, at some of the tighter street circuits, the LMP2 cars in the ALMS would outqualify them. It’s a shame, as the Panoz/Cosworth spec car that Champ Car introduced in its final season in 2007 was quite a fast machine–Bourdais broke Zonta’s Toyota record at Laguna by half a second.

  5. Just noticed the track is between Leeds and Birmingham!

    Maybe it’s just me but I always find it strange reading about towns in the US that have the same name as our British ones.

    • Yea, in the US you find either British, French, Spanish, or American Indian names for just about everything. Makes sense though…I bet the folks that settled Birmingham, AL were from, well, Birmingham England…
      Everything was named by the people that settled the area and if they didn’t know what to call it they named it after the local Indians.

      • José Baudaier said on 8th January 2010, 22:44

        Doesn’t need to go so deep as Birmingham, AL for this, just need to think the most famous American city: New YORK.

  6. One big question? WHO WILL BE DRIVING THE CAR! Enough with the secrets Peter! ANNOUNCE YOUR DRIVERS!

    • UniRacer said on 13th January 2010, 21:31

      There are sculptures all over the property, some of them really neat. Personally, I like the bugs; something different and very photogenic on TV.

  7. Oh and by he way, What the #%*# is with the spider?

  8. I meant, by the way

  9. I seem some footage of this track with indy cars going around. Looks a good track. In some respects i would like to see tracks like this in F1 with the scenery around it. Doesnt look to rich like Abu Dhabi. The cameras will focus more on the racing than the surroundings (Abu Dhabi hotel, monaco boats etc)

    I wish there was a track to every teams home country. German teams will have Nurburgring. British teams will have silverston. Italian teams will have monza etc etc and american teams will have indianapolis or this track :)

    • Cool idea, but just one hitch. Force India is just across the road from Silverstone, yet is registered in India, where there currently is no F1

      • I meant to say no F1 circuit. So where do they test?

        • they can be giving an option, if a team has there home country force india will have the right to choose where they want. Or they get to have the closest F1 registered track. Which is i dont know, my geography aint very good.

          • tbh i think its a great idea. Teams dont have to fork out money to travel half way around the world to the only test track. Its a good way to cut costs. places like germany have 2 tracks. they can use 1 for testing and 1 for the race.

            Also good for the fans who follow there national team. If every team has a home race. People will beable to go watch them. Force india for instance. If they can somehow find a track close to home. Im sure people from india who follow them will be willing to travel to watch them.

          • you do realise that the German teams are actually based in………….. England. As is Force India. As is the Malaysian registered Lotus.
            So if they were to test in their ‘home’ country, they WOULD be travelling half way around the world to do so, which would be vastly more expensive than what they are doing now!
            And the German teams wouldn’t be able to test in Germany during winter given it is cold and snowed in. Nor would the English teams. Which means the only teams able to test would be the Italian teams.

            Its not a great idea. Its a terrible idea.

  10. F1Yankee said on 8th January 2010, 20:36

    i don’t care for the giant bugs at all :/

  11. Seamus said on 8th January 2010, 21:25

    Absolutely my favorite American track to race in RACE07/GTR Evo. etc..Can’t imagine racing it in a car with as much downforce as an F1 car :O.

  12. @mfDB

    I live in Rome, GA, which is in northwest Georgia. I am originally from Atlanta though. I will be attending the test also.

    I can’t wait to have F1 back in America, even if it is only for a test session. Hopefully the powers that be can get the US race back on the F1 calendar.

  13. Pengo said on 8th January 2010, 23:59

    Makes you wonder why they built the spiders in the first place.

  14. A. Nonymous said on 9th January 2010, 0:28

    Re: the spiders

    I live in Birmingham (the one in Alabama) and I’m a regular at the track. George Barber has a wicked sense of humor, an appreciation for art, and more money than God. So there is bizarre art all over the place at the track. My favorite is a sculpture of a zombie climbing out of a culvert in a track-side retaining pond.

  15. I and many from Atlanta will be there!

    • HounslowBusGarage said on 9th January 2010, 20:24

      Chris, I hope you take and post loads of photographs and give us a lap-by-lap report! Enjoy.

      • Yea, I’ll be there too and will take my nice DSLR. I will attempt to post the pics or send them to Kieth!

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