AUSTIN -- Construction noise gave way to the sound of racing engines on Sunday as drivers took the ceremonial first laps at the Circuit of the Americas.
Racing legend Mario Andretti, actor and part-time racer Patrick Dempsey, and Lotus F1 Team driver Jerome D’Ambrosio took the first high-speed test drives on the track, just one month before before the Circuit opens to the public for the inaugural Formula 1 United States Grand Prix.
Click below to watch D'Ambrosio's commentary as he drives the track.
“I think the track is phenomenal. It has all the features that race car drivers are looking for, as far as giving them the opportunity to overtake other drivers in the tighter corner. But then it widens out so there’s plenty of room to maneuver,” Andretti said. “There should be some really terrific racing out here in the months and years to come."
Click below to watch Andretti's inaugural lap.
“I see this track being really great for the Austin area, and great for motor racing, too. I think all the drivers are really going to be excited to have the opportunity to come racing here," Dempsey said. "There are some technical aspects of the track that are really going to challenge a driver’s skills. It’s a very fast track, and has a great rhythm to it."
The F1 U.S. Grand Prix is Nov. 16-18.