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Former F1 champion Andretti christens 'fantastic' Texas racetrack

Published on Oct 22, 2012 11:34 AM
Legendary race car driver Mario Andretti (left) and James Hinchcliffe of Canada, driver of the No. 27 Andretti Autosport Dallara Chevrolet, talk during qualifying for the IZOD IndyCar Series MAVTV 500 World Championship at the Auto Club Speedway on Sept 14, 2012 in Fontana, California. -- PHOTO: AFP

AUSTIN, Texas (REUTERS) - Former Formula One world champion Mario Andretti took the first full lap around the new Circuit of the Americas on Sunday, pronouncing the 20-turn, 5.15km just-paved race track "absolutely fantastic".

On Nov 18, the purpose-built venue will host the first United States Grand Prix since Indianapolis in 2007.

"It's very green, as you could expect," Andretti, the 1978 Formula One world champion, told Reuters. "You get offline a bit - it's a bit slippery. But that's normal for a new circuit.

Overall, my impression is absolutely fantastic."

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