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Old 2nd June 2016, 08:40   #1
Zed
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Default The Indy 500, 2016 - Epic Race, Epic Place

The 100th edition of what is undoubtedly the greatest spectacle in motor racing. Doesn't get any more epic than this. Though I've never been into Indy or any of the other open wheel race series from North America, the Indianapolis 500 has been on my bucket list since I first heard of the race and its heritage that dates back to the dawn of the motoring industry. And last Sunday was a dream come true as I watched the field of 33 compete to win the fabled BorgWarner Trophy.

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A business trip to the Detroit area during the last week of May meant I only had to drive (or be driven) 4-5 hrs to get to the legendary Indianapolis motor speedway for the race weekend. Hotel reservations, passes to the parade on Saturday (downtown Indy) and race tickets magically materialized thanks to the fact that the organization I work with is associated with the event. One of those rare occasion where a vague plan crystallized into something firm in a matter of days.

The plan involved driving from Detroit to Indianapolis on Friday. Attend the parade and explore downtown Indy on Saturday. Catch the race on Sunday and head back to Detroit on Monday.

Driving from Michigan to Indianapolis was a breeze. The first myth the drive dispelled was that a 70 mph speed limit makes for a slow road trip compared to an AutoBahn. Average and Max speeds are not that different on US interstates in contrast to the A-bahn. The Adrenalin rush was missing but the pace was certainly there.

The second myth de-bunked was that a crowd of 400.000 is bound to be chaotic. The parade on Saturday in downtown Indy had an estimated 300.000 spectators. The fact that we made it to our designated seats without any hassle speaks volumes about the planning that probably went into the weekend festivities. Race day (Sunday) saw traffic jams leading to the track, as expected, but once we got to the track security check, ticket screening and finding our seats was a breeze. Was hard to believe there I was sharing a venue with 400.000 people.

Last edited by Aditya : 24th June 2016 at 07:32. Reason: Typo, spelling errors
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Old 4th June 2016, 20:09   #2
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Default re: The Indy 500, 2016 - Epic Race, Epic Place

Downtown Indy : During a chat with a friendly local I learnt that downtown Indy has seen a revival of sorts. In the not-too-distant past there were parts of downtown that were best avoided by locals and tourists. Not anymore - You do see homeless people and some of them dont hesitate to walk up to you and ask you for spare change. But nothing intimidating or unplesant.Here are some pics from Downtown. The racecar replicas were parked at the Hotel porch.
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Old 4th June 2016, 21:11   #3
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Default re: The Indy 500, 2016 - Epic Race, Epic Place

The Parade : In a tradition dating back to 1957 downtown indy hosts a parade in honour of the race and the memorial weekend. Can you spot two racing legends - one from the past the other still in the fray ? The fabled trophy was on display in the last float.
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Old 6th June 2016, 16:03   #4
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Default re: The Indy 500, 2016 - Epic Race, Epic Place

Raceday : We were scheduled to leave the hotel at 9:00 am on Sunday. We were part of a convoy of buses with police escorts from the hotel to the race track. The Indy PD with their motorbikes and cars managed to keep the convoy moving along at a brisk pace while the roads were back up for miles with cars and trucks headed to the event- a truly awesome experience that got us to the track in 45 minutes flat. It would have been a 3-4 hour crawl otherwise.
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It was a short walk to the stand from the designated parking bay. The sheer size and scale of the Indy track is staggering.

We walked the infield before taking our seats. The food, live concert, souvnier stalls and a Museum drew plenty of visitors from the stands to the infield.

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Last edited by Zed : 23rd June 2016 at 23:13.
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Old 24th June 2016, 07:51   #5
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Default re: The Indy 500, 2016 - Epic Race, Epic Place

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Int'l Motorsport Section. Thanks for sharing!

Looking forward to images from the main race.
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