America's F1 Track Is Getting a World's-First Roller Coaster

November 17, 2021, 2:04 PM · America's Formula One track is getting a new theme park with a world's first coaster next year.

Ride Entertainment announced that the new Cotaland theme park at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas will open a Gerstlauer Infinity shuttle coaster called Palindrome in late 2022. Operators are working to get the ride open in time for the next United States Grand Prix, which is scheduled for October 21-23, 2022.

Palindrome will feature a 95-foot vertical lift hill, nearly vertical twisting drop, two inversions, and a vertical "hop-stall" before - as the name implies - the train then goes backward through the course. The ride's top speed will be 51 mph, with 2,080 feet transversed on the 1,230-foot track.

"We are thrilled to be able to bring the first Infinity shuttle coaster to the United States," said Siegfried Gerstlauer, Managing Director of Gerstlauer Rides GmbH. "Guests riding Palindrome are in for a truly special experience aboard the newest icon of Cotaland."

Here is the POV of the ride, which will be assembled by Ride Entertainment.

And here is an off-ride view showing the coaster's elements.

Cotaland will feature more than 20 rides when it opens next year, said Senior Manager Matt Hughey.

This will not be the first roller coaster to be built next to an F1 track. Germany's Nürburgring was the site of the Ring Racer coaster that operated for just a few days in 2013 before closing. More successfully, the F1 track in Sochi, Russia stands next to Sochi Park, which is home to four roller coasters. (Update: I forgot Six Flags' La Ronde, which is on the next island over from Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on the St. Lawrence River in Montreal. It's getting the old Green Lantern from Six Flags Magic Mountain next year.)

But the biggest and best example of roller coasters at an F1 track is at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, which stands next to the Ferrari World Abu Dhabi theme park, home to five coasters, including Formula Rossa, the world's fastest roller coaster.

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