I flew in from Scotland for my first Indy 500. Chatting to people at the bus stop around town, they all thought I was crazy. Even people at the campsites thought I was a bit mad, travelling all that way for a car race. What can I say? I'm hardcore racing fan... I did spent a week in NYC beforehand though, that's a different story! So on to my first 500...
I've been lucky enough to attend some great races at some wonderful tracks in Europe... Silverstone, Monza, Le Mans, Zandvoort... nothing could prepare me for the scale of Indianapolis though. It's HUGE. It's clearly a well loved and beautifully kept venue though.
Friday was my first time seeing Indycars tear it up in person. I sat on the S/F straight, in the shade. These cars... they are fast. I mean, REALLY fast! No problem if you missed your favourite driver going by though, won't be long till they are past again on another lap! The Freedom 100 was insane, such a shame it ended under caution. It was set for a grandstand finish between the four drivers battling it out for the win. This race should be an essential part of anyone Indy 500 weekend!
I managed to get a few autographs on Saturday (including Graham Rahal and Rubens!), which was pretty cool. I wish the sessions went on for a bit longer though. Seeing the old car on track was also pretty cool, would have been nice to see them a but later on in the day though so I could properly enjoy them. Got some great photos though. I also went to the museum that day... possibly the best five bucks I've ever spent. Such an amazing collection of cars! I had no idea Spirt of America was kept there, so cool seeing it.
Race day. The heat... on my lord, the heat. My Scottish self has never felt heat like that in my life. Thankfully, I stocked up on plenty of water bottles and juice cartons, so I was alright. The breeze was pleasant. The race itself was probably the best race I've ever seen in person... action packed all the way through. Some fantastic overtakes and charges though the field. The storylines never end... there is always someone on the charge, always someone ready to grab there place in history before something happens such as Andretti, Kanaan, Carpenter, Sato... it really isn't over until it's over. I was very happy to see Dario win too!!
I also enjoyed the friendliness of the people of Indianapolis. I had a bit of trouble with my camping ticket, very quickly sorted out by some great people.
Overall, it was an amazing experience which I will look forward to again one day. Mark my words, Indiana... I will be back.