Not since The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has there been this much hype surrounding Austin, Texas and high-powered machinery.
So after a quick stop at the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader factory – OK, that place doesn’t really exist – the Red Bull Racing Australia lads touched down in the town made famous by the fictional Hollywood slasher film this week.
And if J-Dub and Lowndesy have anything to do with it, rival drivers will experience similar horrors when the cars descend on the Circuit of the Americas this weekend and they’re forced to watch the Red Bull Commodores carve up the Texan track.
And just when you thought there was too much hyperbole, we caught up with Lowndesy on a conveniently located pay phone out front of an abandoned road-side diner to get the low down on Austin as the V8 Supercars show rolls into town.
“For me, it’s actually my first time in the USA and my first time to Texas so my impression of the place is that it’s amazing,” says Lowndes, typical of a horror film victim.
“I’ve had a chance to walk around and have a look and it’s awesome. I couldn’t be more excited about this weekend, to come half way around the world to race our V8s – it’s awesome!”
Upwards of 65,000 tickets have been sold so far for the event and Lowndes expects a sleuth of fast-talking, gun-slinging rich Texans (i.e. The Simpsons) to run their eye over this here new event in Texas town come Sat’dy and Sund’y.
“Most places that I have been to so far know all about the race and are keen to come out and have a look so I think it will be a great weekend both for racing and crowds,” Lowndes says.
“There’s a great vibe here. And as for the track, it looks great. At this stage, we haven’t had any direct access so I’m very keen to get out there tomorrow and walk around to get a feel for it.
“From the distance of it and what we’ve researched, I think tyre wear will be something that teams and drivers will have to watch as there are a lot of long, fast corners. But it’s very smooth and has an open style to it so we’re hoping there should be a lot of good passing…”
That’s weird, the phone’s gone dead. Anywho, here are a few things you mightn’t have know about Austin, Texas: The circuit is normally 5.5km long but reduced to 3.7km for the V8s; Texas is known as the live music capital of the world; there will be four 100km sprint races over 27 laps each; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was filmed there in 1974 and remade poorly in 2003; J-Dub has won 16 of the 24 international races in V8 Supercars and claimed nine of 21 poles; Adelaide is in fact a sister city of Austin and we know how Lowndsey and J-Dub went there; it’s the home of music legend Willie Nelson; all four races will feature compulsory pit-stops; Austin is the home of the world renowned South by Southwest music and arts festival; only hard compound tyres will be available to teams; and cult wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin is the village protector.
What more do you need to know?
Stay tuned for a full preview of the circuit in the next 48 hours after Lowndesy, J-Dub and the lads have had a chance to inspect.
And stream all the action live at V8LIVE here…