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The Platypus
Formula One ~ Practice Photos
Friday June 17, 2005
I got to Speedway around noon today. I tried to pull
into the track from Georgetown Road, but that
entrance required a parking pass today, so I entered
off of 30th Street and parked in the 3rd turn infield. It
was a nice day, some clouds, but sunny and around
70 degrees.

As I walked toward the track, the first thing I came to
was the infield viewing hill on Hulman Blvd. There was
a decent crowd on all of the viewing hills today.
The Infiniti Pro Series qualifying was going on.
F1's second practice would start in about an hour. I decided I would sit in
Penthouse E for that. I made my way over the bridge and through the woods,
er, tunnel to the outfield. I climbed the stairs to the upper deck. As I walked to
the far south of the track toward Stand E, I took the following photos:
Pro car
I happened to look behind me across the road and spotted this
field of Ferraris. Now how did I miss that when I drove by?!
You don't see many cars shaped liked this Ferrari
Another Infiniti Pro car in the pits
You cannot actually see into the F1
garages this well from across the
track unless you have binoculars
The session is over and Marco Andretti
won the pole. (He went on to win the race
on Saturday.)
Its amazing how empty the place is.
Five years ago during F1 practice, this place was full.

Once I reached stand E, I discovered they had it closed to
spectators. I decided to backtrack and go sit in Stand H.
From there you get to see the cars scream down the front
straight, jump on the breaks and decelerate from 220 mph to
about 50 in a hundred feet as they prepare for the 1st turn.

I brought a flask of whiskey with me and I needed a big icy
Coke to mix it with. Every food stand I went to only had Coke
in a plastic bottle and no cup or ice! What is this world
coming to? So I passed Stand H and kept walking and
looking for ice. Once I was at the far north of the track, I found
a oriental chicken shiskebob place that had what I needed.

Practice was about to start, so I decided to save the walk
and sit in the NW Vista Deck. Boy, I sure forgot what a
awesome view you have from up there. You can see more of
the roadcourse from here than anywhere. But you are also
far away from the course.

Panarama Photo From NW Vista Deck
I noticed that Stand H, where I had been heading, was full.
I wondered why no camera man was in the camera
booth above me.

I turned around and this guy had a big camera and he
was up a lot higher than I was.

He was swaying in the breeze, had no tie-down cables
or even anyone to help him.

Looking at this contraption, it was hard to believe that it
would not fall over.  I wouldn't be up there!
I have so many pics to post from today that I am not
going to post many of the F1 cars since that is mainly
what I will post on race day. But here is Jacques
Villeneuve, Michael Schumacher and Mark Webber.
Although I was at the track by myself, I had no trouble finding
conversation up in the deck. The old guy next to me lived close to
Mid-Ohio and his son was a track worker for the U.S.G.P. He talked
about how Bobby Rahal had screwed over his fans in Ohio. He said
CART had abandoned Mid-Ohio because it is in the country and not
a metropolitan area, the same reason they left Watkins Glen. He
loved the Glen and had attended every F1 race there since 1961.
(This guy would have been a cool dad!)

Then we got into a big discussion about the open-wheel war with a fat
Oriental guy who regurgitated the normal CART view of Tony George
subterfuge. Been there, done that a few hundred times...

I went back and got another coke and ice for $3. I bought a ribeye
sandwich for $7. It was small.

I decided it was time to hike over to the museum lot to see what fun
things might be there. Mainly it was just a bunch of tents selling
over-priced gear. A Formula Renault baseball cap, which didn't even
have the proper "Mild Seven" logo on the front, was $42! Nothing of
interest over here except for the Honda tent where they had a sample
of every product they sell - lawn stuff, motorcycles, cars, outboard
motors, jet skis, etc.
I took these photos from over at Corner 10
Terrace. These are the Porsche Supercup cars.
I moved around and over the bridge and waited for the
Formula BMW USA cars. I talked to a IMS Photographer.

He told me they have 42 photographers. They don't get
paid and can't sell their photos. They can't get any closer
to the racing than anyone else during the grand prix.
I had went up and down stairs, and criss-crossed all four corners of
the track today. I was tired and hungry and decided to go.

As I was leaving, I realized it was exactly 5 o'clock. I did not want to
fight rush hour traffic trying to get home on the interstate so I took 30th
Street east to Meridian Street and then south. When I hit the center of
downtown, it was partially blocked off. I decided to park and eat
downtown. There were quite a few Ferraris driving around. I walked to
Monument Circle, and found some Ferraris on display.
Here's a Maserati
Geesh, there was even a F-40 driving
around! We normally don't see such super
expensive cars around here.
I ate at Houlihan's and upon leaving
spotted this Lamborgini
The grill on this big Rolls was massive!
I was surprised to see a bunch of panhandlers
on every corner of downtown. Its strange how
we can have so many thousands of people and
millions of dollars which have made downtown
Indy such a nice place, and then a dozen bums
can spoil it and give the entire city a black eye.
I thought panhandling was illegal.
I also thought there was a minimum height