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Dan's Race Journals

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U.S. Grand Prix - Friday Practice September 22, 2000

It has been two years since Tony George came to an agreement with Bernie Ecclestone to bring Formula One back to the U.S.A. after a decade's absense. I have waited feverishly the entire time for the cars to come back. In the Fall of 2000, after building a new tower, new F1 pit/garages and a new infield roadcourse, after spending tens of millions of dollars, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was ready for the F1 cars and drivers! Was I excited to be here? You bet!

F1 Pits Today started out a little overcast, and cool. The weather improved as the day wore on and we all got a little sunburned. I had purchased my practice and qualifying tickets for this weekend in advance. Then I went off and forgot to bring it today! Fortunately for me, the great guy at the gate believed me and let me in!



Tower and pits I was surprised that the crowd was rather light during the first F1 Practice 11 a.m to noon. It greatly increased though for the second practice at 1 p.m. I would estimate the crowd today at 50,000







First Time Four of us hit Speedway about 10:30. Parking was a snap. We made our way up to the Penthouse Paddock in time to see the start of F1 Practice. The cars came out and kind of lined up in the pit area. After a few minutes off they flew, screaming like Banshee's as they accelerated down the straight.












Michael. 200+ mph When you sit along the main stretch, the noise produced by these cars is wickedly LOUD. BRING EARPLUGS IF YOU ARE SITTING IN THIS AREA (Paddock, Stand A, B, E, Tower Terrace).












practice day crowd I found that Section 5 in Stand J is a excellent place to be! That is right by turn one.












TURN ONE! Turn 1

We always sit at the top of the stands.

Steve, Jay, Dan
Steve, Jay, Me

Cameras held high above with cranes This was something unique - they had large cranes at various spots that held TV camera platforms HIGH above the ground. Some tv helicopters also hovered for long periods overhead today.




A Williams take a short cut

We saw two F1 cars miss turn two today.
We saw the 1st turn get over shot about 10 times today.
We saw a couple guys run off into the sand in turn 4.
I believe the wall felt contact twice today.

None the less, these guys came out and they kicked ass and the aberrations were minor.

Villeneuve/City Skyline

The Formula One cars began their first practice of all time on this new course today. It was wonderful watching Michael Schumacher carve through the Indy infield a different way each lap, looking for the fastest method.



Relaxing on the viewing mound during a break After F1 finished for the day, we walked to the viewing mounds in the infield on the back stretch. We watched several sessions of the Porsches practice from here. They had to go pretty slow in the curvy area. Afteward, some people relaxed in the sun. The weather this weekend probably will not be this nice again.


Brian and Jay race fan
Brian and Jay

the new Shelby looks like a hoot Across Georgetown Road, a Shelby auto display was setup. Several racing and vintage Shelbys were on hand, but the main attraction was the newest Shelby. Someone mentioned $170k. Hello.



Shelby's were on display across Georgetown Road

Cobra




Sept 23, 2000 - F1 Qualifying

Sept 24, 2000 - F1 Race Day

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