Travel Diary
September 30, 2002
Indianapolis, IN

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We finally made our first time-based destination. We pulled in Thursday afternoon to spend 4 nights at a hotel in Indianapolis. We had a pre-paid registration at a local hotel for race weekend. We parked the house in a huge section of parking lot that the hotel sales director had set aside for us.

Thursday night we met up with Gordon, Ashley and Dan who flew in from Seattle for the race. We went out for dinner, and then Mary stayed behind to catch up on the sleep she missed in Chicago, as the guys had a night out on the town.

The gang at the hotel

On Friday, we went to the track to see the Formula One (F1) practice sessions. There isn't any way to describe the sound an F1 car makes. They are generally around 18,000 rpm, and can propel the cars to around 220 mph. Here's a shot of a busy pit-lane at the end of practice.

F1 pit lane

We also took part in some of Indianapolis' finest track side dining.

Primal food

And in the afternoon while watching the Porsche Supercup qualifing session, we enjoyed the local refreshments. These, we understand, are specific to the F1 race at Indy, and are not available during the Indy 500 (IRL race) or the Brickyard 400 (Nascar).

Beer cans as big as our heads

We also enjoyed the particularly interesting fashions that come to Indy for an F1 weekend. This hat was one of a kind.

Ferrari hat

By the end of practice on Friday, Michael Schumacher had the best time, and was about a half-second quicker than his nearest rival.

Michael Schumacher

Here's the crew in the stands having a great time watching Friday practice:

Waiting for the action to start

The race on Sunday was excellent. The sound that 20 F1 cars make when they leave the standing start is amazing. They run at around 18,000 rpm, and are extremely loud. The stands were packed with fans from all over the world.

The stands on race day

Here's a shot of Willem, who flew in from Dublin, hanging up a flag for Jos "The Boss" Verstappen:

Willem hanging the Dutch flag

There was one dramatic moment when one of the Minardi team cars had a massive engine failure directly in front of us. This picture is about 10 seconds after it went by. The smoke was so thick when it happened that we couldn't even see the track.

Alex Yoong blowing up

In summary, the weekend was fabulous. We had a great time at the race events and a great time visiting with our friends from Seattle and Dublin. We've already renewed our tickets for next year's race.

Pete at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Onward toward New England to see some fall colors...

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