Mario Andretti Joins Circuit of The Americas(tm) as Official Ambassador

Motorsports legend helps new Circuit promote return of Formula 1(tm) racing to the United States in 2012

Austin, Texas, June 9, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AUSTIN, Texas (June 9, 2011) -- Circuit of The Americas is proud to announce motorsports legend, Mario Andretti, as an official Circuit ambassador. The racing superstar, with more than 100 major wins in virtually every racing series--including Formula 1™, IndyCar, NASCAR, sprint cars, sports cars, dirt track cars and drag racing-- is considered one of the most accomplished and reputable racing experts in the world.  Andretti will work with Circuit officials to promote awareness of Formula 1™ and the Circuit's debut this fall as a premier sports and entertainment complex.

"Circuit of The Americas is honored to introduce Mario Andretti as our official ambassador to the motorsports world," said Circuit Executive Vice President Bruce Knox.  "Mr. Andretti is a racing icon and is globally recognized as one of the most successful drivers in the history of motorsports.  His record speaks for itself, as he is the only driver in history to win the Formula One World Championship, Indianapolis 500 and Daytona 500.  Circuit of The Americas will benefit from Mr. Andretti's valuable input and representation as we prepare for the inaugural Formula 1 United States Grand Prix."

Andretti will make public appearances in the coming months to promote Circuit of The Americas and the inaugural 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX™, Nov. 16-18 at the Central Texas venue. This weekend, he will join a group of Circuit team members at the Grand Prix du Canada on Sunday, June 10, as they interact with Formula 1™ fans, teams and drivers.

A June 7 visit to Austin, Texas, allowed Andretti to get a preview of what is to come in November. His visit to the Circuit included a tour of the track and facilities currently under construction. Paving is ongoing at Turns 1-9 and Turns 18-20. Significant progress has also been made on the pit building and main grandstand, as well as on the 5,500-square foot media center and state-of-the-art medical center.

"Formula 1's return to the United States is so exciting for racing fans, especially at a purpose-built facility," said Andretti. "Circuit of The Americas has a strong team behind it that is working day in and day out to prepare for the first race. They have made significant progress in a short amount of time. The track design has really come together, and it's clear that this will be a phenomenal venue for a variety of premium motorsports. I know I'll be there this November to help the Circuit of The Americas team welcome back F1 in grand fashion!"

Images and video of Andrett's June 7 visit to Circuit of The Americas™, including taped comments from Andretti, are available for download at

Three-day reserved grandstand seats and three-day general admission tickets to the 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX™ go on sale Sunday, June 10, at 10 a.m. EDT, with prices starting as low as $159 for a three-day pass, including round-trip shuttle bus service. Visit or call the Ticketmaster hotline at 800.745.3000 to review available options and purchase tickets.

About Mario Andretti

He won just about everything:  The Indy 500, the Daytona 500, the Formula One World Championship and the Pikes Peak Hillclimb.  He won the IndyCar National Championship four times and was a three-time winner at Sebring.  He won races in sports cars, sprint cars and stock cars - on ovals, road courses, drag strips, on dirt and on pavement.  He won at virtually every level of racing since he arrived in America from his native Italy at age 15. 

Assessing his legacy is easy…. He drove the careers of three men.  He drove with a passion and joy that few have equaled… and he won.  Mario Andretti took the checkered flag 111 times during his career - a career that stretched five decades.  And he was competitive for all of those years:  He was named Driver of the Year in three different decades (the 60s, 70s, 80s), Driver of the Quarter Century (in the 90s) and Driver of the Century in January, 2000.

He competed in 128 Formula One races and had 12 wins and 18 poles.  In 1978, he achieved his ultimate goal - the Formula One World Championship.

Mario retired from active driving at the end of 1994.  Now a successful businessman off the track, Mario serves as spokesman, associate and friend to top executives around the world.

About Circuit of The Americas

Circuit of The Americas will be a world-class destination for performance, education and business. It will be the first purpose-built Grand Prix facility in the United States designed for any and all classes of racing, from motor power to human power, and be the U.S. home to the 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX™ Nov. 16-18 and V8 SUPERCARS.

The Circuit of The Americas' master plan features a variety of permanent structures designed for business, education, entertainment and race use. Its signature element will be a 3.4-mile circuit track. Other support buildings will include an expansive outdoor live music space, a conference center, a banquet hall as well as a state-of-the-art medical facility. Future proposed amenities include a driving/riding experience, a motorsports driving club, kart track, grand plaza event center and tower, and a trackside recreational vehicle park. For more information and downloadable video, audio and photos, visit:


Photos accompanying this release are available at:

Mario Andretti at Circuit of The Americas Mario Andretti checks out Circuit of The Americas Mario Andretti gives 'thumbs up' to Circuit of The Americas.

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