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DAN'S PHOTO JOURNALS
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:
Infiniti
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 down
town. 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
requirement...