1999-2000 U.S. Grand Prix Information
SOLD OUT!May 9, 2000 - It was officially announced today that all reserved seating for the U.S. Grand Prix has been sold out.
If you were one of the unlucky race fans to miss out, you can still get general admission tickets for the race which give you access to the new viewing mounds in the infield. Seating on these mounds are on a first-come first-served basis. I highly recommend getting there early and staking out an area with a blanket and maybe even sticks and string. If its very crowded, you could end up standing around seeing nothing.
GENERAL ADMISSION TICKETS FOR RACEDAY MUST BE PURCHASED IN ADVANCE!
Sept. 22 - Friday Practice is $10
Sept. 23 - Saturday Qualifications is $20
Sept. 24 - Sunday Race day is $30
Three-day tickets are $50
Two-day (Friday-Saturday) tickets are $25
To get an application for general admission, send a postcard with name and address to U.S. Grand Prix at Indianapolis, P.O. Box 24916, Speedway IN 46224 or call (800) 822-4639 to request a ticket application form. Forms can also be requested via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
2. It is standard practice in America to tip waiters or waitresses 15% of the total food bill. If you are just sitting at a bar, it is customary to tip the bartender 10%.
Practice : Friday, Sept. 22, 2000
Qualifying: Saturday, Sept. 23, 2000 1-2 p.m. (EST) 6-7 p.m. (GMT)
Race Day : Sunday, Sept. 24, 2000 1 p.m. (EST, local) 6 p.m. (GMT)
Road Course: Total track length: 2.606 miles (4.195 kilometers)
Main straight length: 3,037 feet (926 meters)
Back straight length: 1,755 feet (535 meters)
Total turns: 13 (Left turns - 4; Right turns - 9)
Average track width: 46 feet (14 meters)
Expected Lap Time: 72 seconds
Expected average speed: 130 mph (210 kph)
Expected highest speed: 187 mph (301 kph)
Race Distance: 190.294 miles (306.235 km), 73 laps
Time limit on Race: FIA rules stipulate that Formula 1 races have a maximum time limit of two hours. This race should be completed in less than two hours, barring an emergency stoppage.
The cars will run clockwise on the oval, which is the reverse of the direction used for the Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400.
Turn Nine, the slowest turn, is estimated to be a 55 mph corner.
Construction Pictures are on-line for you to look at and see how its going. Also see May 1999 pictures from the 4th turn as they built the new course
Historic Gasoline Alley and current garage areas will not be affected by the construction.
A new 400-seat press building will be constructed.
Kevin Forbes, director of engineering and construction at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, has 7 months to complete the transformation of the world famous oval track into what he hopes will be the supreme auto-racing palace of the 21st century.
"Everything is on schedule," said Forbes, who recently returned from the Italian Grand Prix at Monza along with Speedway President Tony George. Much of the work must be completed by May 2000 so that the 85th annual Indianapolis 500 can be hosted followed by the Brickyard 400 NASCAR Winston Cup in mid-summer. "
The US Grand Prix, the first since 1991, will be the first ever within the confines of a facility housing a 2½-mile oval track.
Forbes indicated there would be no team or car pre-testing on the circuit, although a Formula1 team will make a final inspection tour sometime during the winter or early spring.
Construction has moved swiftly. The media room, which had handled a gaggle of world-wide press representatives for 30 years, has been demolished along with the row of manufactures' and sponsors' rooms behind it, to make room for the 36 Formula 1 garages and 12 suites that are to be built on the inside south end of the main straight.
The garages will extend nearly 200 feet south of the end of the old Tower Terrace. In the clockwise-running race, pitting cars will enter as they come around what is Turn 1 on the oval from the south. All other races are conducted in counter-clockwise fashion, and cars enter the pits when they exit the oval's Turn 4 from the north.
The pit surface has been removed from south of the new Pagoda at mid-straight and will be widened to accommodate the Formula 1 pitting procedure that sends the cars back onto the regular surface north of the garages. However, this will have no effect on the way oval track drivers enter, make their stops and exit the pits.
Demolition of the old timing-and-scoring room at the start-finish line was completed in early September.
"It's pretty significant," Forbes concluded. "It includes the tunnel (being lengthened) and phone room. It's very, very complex. There is very heavy infrastructure that we're kind of weaving around."
February - Plans are in motion to put up viewing hills for the Grand Prix. The speedway says, "..they will be located outside the circuit (but in the infield of the oval). The mounds will be along Hulman Boulevard (which runs down the center of the oval) and where the F1 cars will turn east towards the Museum.
"The mounds will be available during practice and qualification days and open to those who purchase general admission and reserved seating tickets for race day."
February - Seeing as how there will be many foreign visitors, tons of worldwide media and coverage in over 50 countries when the Grand Prix comes to town, IMS has wisely decided to form a U.S.G.P. Hospitality Committee.
June 13, 2000 - Heinz-Harald Frentzen, an F1 driver for the Jordan team, held a press conference after visiting the track and taking some laps around the new grand prix course in a road car. Here are a few of his comments:
"This is my first time here in Indianapolis. I only knew Indianapolis from watching TV, watching races here, which was very exciting.
"I have to say my first impression is what I have imagined. It looked very impressive already on TV and the corners looked very fast. It will look a lot more exciting when you have spectators sitting here in the grandstands and giving the atmosphere.
"For us it will be the first time, for me, especially, it will be the first time that I have a little bit of an oval touch here. I never raced on an oval track before in my life.
"Half of this racetrack, the infield, is like a normal Formula One track, and then the other half like an oval. That means that this relationship is going to be a big compromise of finding the right set up here, a very long straight. We could exceed here speed well above 350 kph. Here, I think we could exceed the highest speed for Formula One racing cars ever. But our software may tell us we can make a faster lap by going faster on the infield than worrying about the straight. So that's going to be really exciting to find out here on Friday [during race weekend]. We have no practice sessions before that, no tests before, here in Indianapolis. So we're going to have a lot of work to do on Friday in these two one-hour sessions to set up the car, as well as, from the driver point-of-view, learning the track. That's going to be exciting as well for the team. And I'm looking forward to this big challenge.
"I had the opportunity today to drive the road car on turn one. I have a formula where I calculate the speed with the road car with a speed you can do with a Formula One car. I won't tell you the formula now, but I would say this corner's going to be a corner, which is going to be around 300 kilometers an hour for us. Whether that's flat or not is depending for what downforce level we decide to run. It could be really flat. It could be challenging because it's not an easy flat. It depends basically on what setup we decide here. I think the brave guys will go on a low down force setup here. If you decide to run a down force configuration with a lot of wind, that means you give a lot of tow to the other people. And the people on the straight can easily get out of the tow and overtake you. And I think that will make it very exciting to see cars overtaking each other a couple of times on the straight. The opportunity is there. And it probably gives Formula One a different view.
"Out of all the F1 tracks, Hockenheim, in Germany is the most likely one to compare with Indianapolis because Hockenheim has also got the very long straight and a tight infield. But the infield is not as sophisticated as this one here and the straights are not as long as this one here.
When asked whether F1 drivers will try to make themselves availalble to the public when in the United States, like their American counterparts, Heinz replied.."
"I think 200,000 is achievable," George said about crowd projections for the inaugural U.S. Grand Prix. "If it was wildly successful and we had demand for 300,000, then we would have to deal with that. It will be interesting to see what the response is when we begin our ticket sales efforts.
"A support race will accompany the feature F1 event, George said. He already has been contacted by a number of organizations such as Porsche Super Cup, Toyota Atlantic, the Ferrari Club and even the Mexican Formula 3, which is being revived next year. But George's dream has him leaning in another direction. He wants the support race to be unique, something that will spark even more interest to the casual race fan. His idea is a Champions or Legends type race, although he doesn't have a preconceived idea on the actual makeup of the race yet.
"But I think it would be fun to get the Mario Andrettis and Nigel Mansells of the world together for some type of event," he said. "I don't know if that is possible or not. I think it would have a lot of interest."
George emphasized that any support race will be run on the road course. There is just too much involved in changing from one setup to the other to make it viable to attempt to compete on both tracks at the same event. The changeover from the oval to the road course was one of the reasons George said he didn't want to hold the F1 race in June.
Other racing organizations like motorcycles, sports cars and vintage cars have expressed interest in competing on the new course. George has started a file for future consideration.
Formula One sponsors, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Jaguar, Marlboro, Shell, Boss, Castrol, Danka, Mobil, Pioneer, Sanyo, Shell and Texaco, should be happy that their sponsorship dollars will now see some good use in the states.
Feb 17, 1999 - Jackie Stewart comments after seeing the progress at the speedway:
"I was very impressed," the 59-year-old Scotsman said of the Speedway renovation. "First of all, there's so much of it already there, the bleachers, the grandstands, the suites. ... Obviously, the pit area and garage area is going to be totally different, but I've been around the whole circuit and it looks good to me. The design looks good, the viewing facilities will be excellent."
He said the race at Indianapolis would be received well worldwide.
"The Indy 500 has been going since 1911. There's an immense amount of heritage, and history is quite important to the Europeans. They like that. They're going to come and they're going to see a ready-made race track," he said.
"And Indy knows how to put on events of this kind. That is quite an important element. We go to some remote areas that have never put a motor race on, for example we're going to go to Malaysia this year. Next year, we're going to go to China. They've never put a motor race on."
"This is the first time there will be a Formula One race in Indy, but it sure as hell isn't the first time they've run a motor race in Indy. I think that Indianapolis as a community can probably service the Formula One Grand Prix better than any new track we would ever go to in the world."
Photos I and Photos II - Pictures taken from around the track in May, showing how construction is progressing on the new tower and grand prix track.
Official U.S. Grand Prix - Different views of the track. Take a "virtual" lap around the new track!
1998 IndyCar News - Info on the new tower
Did you know that during the 50's, F1 considered the Indy 500 as one of their races?
If you would like to read about the history of F1 in America, go to this site: F1 Atlas.
The last U.S. Grand Prix was in Phoenix in 1991.
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