I am sitting on the plane back from Indianapolis on Monday 27th May 2019 after a great weekend at the Indy 500.
Jamie is a huge motor racing fan and I have never been to an American race so we booked up tickets for this year. Even more exciting for Jamie was that his hero driver Fernando Alonso and McLaren were due to race in 2019.
On Thursday we got the news that, due to a comedy of errors, McLaren failed to qualify for the race! Alonso crashed his main car but the second car had been painted the wrong ‘orange’ and was in the paint shop getting re-painted. Despite a lot of effort by the team to try to recover they still failed to get a place on the grid.
What surprised me when we got to the race track on Friday was how many McLaren and Alonso fans were there. They were everywhere. Jamie was pleased to spend time with them sharing their disappointment!
It was a really fun weekend and an exciting race...see the pics here. The weather forecast was for thunderstorms but no rain appeared thankfully!
A number of things really struck me on our trip
1 The Indy 500 is the most attended sporting event in the world. About 3-4 hundred thousand spectators attend every year. We also found out the Ascot is the second most attended event in the world every year!
2 The Speedway where the race is held is a National Monument.
3 Before the start of the race the organizers had a tribute to fallen soldiers for Memorial Day. They asked for a moments silence...I have never seen such a large crowd of people be so quiet..you could have a pin drop. Very respectful
4 We were lucky enough to get pit and garage passes so before the race were able to mingle with the teams and the cars. We were able to be so close to the cars and the people working on them - amazing. Jamie was even allowed to put his head in the cockpit when it was sitting in the pits about an hour before the race. Remember these cars average over 200 mph for 500 miles in the race
5 All of the pit crews and officials were all so welcoming and helpful. We asked so many questions and learnt so much from them. They were all very kind and enthusiastic to tell us everything.
6 We had 2 days at the event. They were long and tiring...we arrived at about 8am on both days and left about 4-5pm.
If we went again I think we would try to fly in Saturday morning, spend the afternoon at the tack and the evening in town. On Sunday go early to the pits, watch the race, and then get a late flight home. Have holiday Monday back at home!