The £250million purpose-built track opened its doors to Formula One on Friday as the sport returned to the United States for the first time in five years.
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel ended both practice sessions at the top of the timesheet, and comfortably so, finishing more than 0.7 seconds clear of team-mate Mark Webber.
Title rival Fernando Alonso was close behind Webber in third, with the McLarens of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button a full second adrift.
Vettel's dominance was such that he could even afford to put his feet up in the garage for half an hour while his mechanics fixed a water pump failure that left them mopping up with paper towels.
As for the track itself, there were plenty of admirers from the front to the back of the grid.
Hamilton said: "The track is cool all round. It's a great track to drive on and very difficult to get all the sectors together.
"And what a great turn out on a Friday. They've done such a great job with the whole event. I never expected to see so many people.
"I'm now so excited for tomorrow [Saturday] and Sunday and I really hope people enjoy the race."
But as to whether the circuit lends itself to overtaking, Hamilton added: "That's the question. We'll have to wait and see. I'm not so sure."
Team-mate Button was even less enthusiastic on that score, adding: "I'm sorry to say, with the way the tyres are with low degradation, there isn't going to be a lot of overtaking I don't think.
"But the circuit is great fun to drive and I hope we can put on a great race."
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Webber felt it was "a pretty good track" and a "fun and a new challenge," but stressed the importance of qualifying in the right positions on Saturday.
"The left-hand side of the grid will be a joke (as there will be no grip)," the Australian said.
"You want to be on the right-hand side if you can, pole or third or fifth or something like that, that will be the first thing."
Although Caterham's Heikki Kovalainen incurred a puncture in FP2, the Finn joined in the overall chorus of approval.
"The track layout lived up to expectations," Kovalainen said. "It's a proper driver's track and as it keeps evolving it's going to get even faster, which will give us a chance to really find out what it's all about."
As for the team bosses, they were all in agreement the track is of the highest standards.
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: "It's an enormously challenging circuit. We have to congratulate everyone, Bernie (Ecclestone) and the organisers, for building a great circuit, great facilities."
Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner, in recalling a visit by his team 18 months ago, said: "It's remarkable what's been done here.
"Back then it really was a construction site and we ran a car with David Coulthard on just dirt and rubble.
"To see what's happened, how the track has been built, just hats off to all at the Circuit of The Americas, and to Bernie to convince them to take up this race.
"It's a great spectacle and hopefully we can put on a great show for the American fans and public, and it will be a race to remember."