a couple friend and i made the trip out to the hoosier state for last weekend’s inaugural indy gp. it was an eventful weekend that will be forever remembered.
the day started out damp. rain spoiled the ride and forced us into the cage. it was for the better as the drive to indy from cleveland is rather boring. it’s 315 highway miles and takes a little more than 5 hrs. along the way we encountered some torrential downpours once we crossed into indiana. we arrived in allisonville, a suburb in the northeastern corner of the city, at around 6. i need a nap before dinner after driving. we ate thai, which was so-so.
we then headed downtown to check out the indy nightlife. from the condo, it was a 20 min drive to the epicenter. parking was scarce but we eventually found a spot on the street after 5 mins of driving around. we then walked to the strip of bars. it was very underwhelming. there wasn’t much to choose from. you had jillians, have a nice day cafe, blu, and a few others. basically, about a block of bars total. we went to have a nice day and it was weak. it was a sausagefest – 10 guys to 1 girl. and then it was another 10 not-so-good-looking girls to 1 cute girl. music was also garbage pop/country/hip-hop horribly mashed together by the sketchy looking dj. there were two positives: cute bartenders and only $0.50 beers!
the weather on sat was perfect – sunny and 80 deg f. we had a hulman suite which runs down the straight on the outside of the track (thanks, pepsi). it had a great vantage point. you could see from turns 11 to start/finish. best thing, they had paddock passes!!! paddock passes were unobtainable except if you knew someone or had a suite. we headed down to the infield right after 250 fp3 and wandered around. it seemed very empty. stopped by the bike tents and got a chance to sit on the new R1 (i’m sold!!!). the merchandising area was small. not much to choose from. stopped by ducati island. it seemed so isolated from everything else. getting into and out was a chore.
i liked the layout of the track except that it was completely flat. throw in some elevation changes (they’ve got a golf course next door fer cryin’ out loud) and it would be probably the best layout on the calendar. there were plenty of great areas to shoot from. and, the security wasn’t too bad. the track personnel were friendly and didn’t give you too hard of a time if you were not where you were supposed to be.
paddock access was fantastic. there weren’t a million people there. riders and teams were walking about. umbrella girls were flaunting their wares. well done.
rain day – i mean race day – started where sat left off. it was warm and sunny for all warmup sessions. after the 125cc race, i headed down to the track to stake out a spot in turn 2 (thought it’d be the best place to catch a spill). next up, the red bull rookies cup. those kids charge hard! very entertaining to watch them bash fairings and overcooking corners. love it! they managed to eke out their race before the remnants of hurricane ike whipped through.
the heavens unleashed a fury. luckily, i was prepared. i was wearing my moonstone gore-tex park, dri-fit shorts and sandals. i had my camera and lens wrapped in a gift bag to protect it from the elements. it worked perfect. first it was buckets of rain then gale force winds. i stood in my spot for 2 hrs waiting for the weather to pass. eventually, the grounds crew got the track to a manageable state and they got the race underway. unfortunately (i hate to say it), no one went down in turn 2 and after snapping some pics during the first few laps. i then ventured over to turn 9 and met up with jules who was also shooting photos. at around lap 17 or so, the weather returned and forced the the red flag out ending the race on lap 20. allegedly, the wind was so fierce that it was ripping out the staples that held the promo banners around the track flinging them onto the track. the wind knocked over bikes and even upended the yamaha tent injuring several people. craziness…
i strolled down to the paddock to snap some post-race photos, met up with jules, and bs’ed about the race.
the return trip was a repeat of fri.
the weekend was one for the record books – first race on the brickyard, abysmal weather, and hanging out with friends. you can’t beat it.