|Formula One ~ Race Day Photos
Sunday June 19, 2005
Three friends joined me today: Keith, Russ and his
13 y/o son Jordan. We planned to leave for the track by
9 a.m., but didn't leave until 11 am. Georgetown Rd was
blocked so we had to continue west on 16th. I noticed
they were still letting cars in to park in the infield. We
were going the wrong way though and just parked across
the street. I expected less traffic this close to race time.
As soon as we entered,
we saw the motorcycle
parking lot was crowded.
We were too late to catch any of the first three races
(Porsche Supercup, Infiniti Pro Series and Formula
We walked over to the Honda tent and then headed
toward the pagoda as there was only 45 minutes to
go until race time.
Fans streaming toward their seats in anticipation of the big race.
We decided to watch the start of the
race at the south end of Tower Terrace.
The 70's R&B group "The Commodores"
were performing on the pagoda stage to
Soon, the teams began hauling their gear
out to the circuit.
About 12:30, the cars began coming out of
the pits, some doing a practice start, and
driving all the way around the circuit to take
their place on the grid.
A children's choir sang the national anthem
and there was a USAF fly over.
The teams getting everything ready to go...
This was young Jordan's first grand
prix and I was explaining to him how
the cars would all take off as they did
their warm-lap, come back around on
the grid, and how the starting lights
I could not see the pits from my seats,
but I could see part of the grid.
I quickly noticed that the only cars in
sight were the two Ferraris.
What was going on?!
I jerked around to look at my friends in
dismay. "Where is everybody?"
No sooner had I done that, than the
Ferraris took off! "What the hell?
Is someone not ready? Are they making
another warmup lap?"
They were soon followed by four other
cars. Two yellow ones and two black
ones. "What happened?! Did the race
start?!?!?! They sure took off like it was
a start. I've never seen anything like this.
DUDE, What the hell is going on???
It soon became apparent that these
F1 idiots were going to start the race
even if everyone was not ready.
As a few laps went by, I kept waiting for
a red flag and restart, but nothing
happened. Ok, now I was mad. This was
absolutely ridiculous. It was beyond belief!
We got up to move down to the opposite end of
the very long Tower Terrace, where are seats were.
As luck would have it, we got tangled in with all the
U.S.G.P. pit girls. Jordan and Keith look happy.
But I was stewing.
We bought some food and went back in.
If I hadn't brought my friends, I would have just left.
My seat was the very last seat in the stand. There
was some guys in our seats who started to give me
some grief, asking to see my ticket, etc.
I was in no mood for any more bullshit, and I was
none too kind making them move!
The idea of choosing these seats was that I could
see the main straight and first turn like many people,
but I could look over to my right and watch the infield
section of the race too. Good idea, but these seats
were too low to be much good for that (row L).
My best view was of Turn 6 where I took the following
photos of the cars in this "race".
The two Ferraris raced each other
I guess. The other two teams
competing were Jordan and Minardi -
the two slowest teams in F1.
They finished 1 and 2 laps behind
There was one exciting moment when
Michael Schumacher came out of the
pits as his teammate was going by.
They hit turn 1 at the same time and
Schumacher forced Rubens Barrichello
into the grass.
Everyone pretty much knew that the seven teams
who did not race were all using Michelin tires and
that Ferrari was using Bridgestones.
I knew F1 had come up with a new rule where teams
must not only use the same engine for two race
weekends, but also use only one set of tires over
one race weekend. Sounds like a dumb idea to me.
Before the race ended, we made our way back
down toward the pagoda to see the award
presentation. Too many people were in the way
to see anything though.
There were quite a few spectators who
seemed as upset about this event as I was.
Guys began climbing the catch fence for a better view.
Local government was concerned about a riot
over this stupid "race", so they called out every
copper in the city to come to Speedway.
These sheriffs soon had everyone climbing back
down to the ground.
The majority of spectators are Ferrari fans,
and some of them were happy about the win
All I know is I want my money back.
October Update: Thanks to Michelin, everyone received a complete refund!