THE SUN SHINES IN THE MIDWESTERN STATE
Bright sun greeted me on arrival at the venue on Friday morning and it was great to see after heavy rain on Thursday.
Despite the forecast of more showers on race day (this Sunday), let’s hope the heavens don’t open and spoil the spectacle of racing’s biggest event.
It was Carb Day in Indiana – essentially a tune-up for the Indy 500 drivers – with a final practice session and last-minute mechanical tweaks.
On Sunday, up to 300,000 people will descend on the venue – and although there were far fewer spectators on Friday – it was great to see automobile fans soaking up the sun and enjoying themselves.
It made for a special atmosphere – which you can take in via the video above.
*Track phone clips from Indy 500 Freedom 100 race.
TOUR AROUND ESPN STUDIOS
As part of my Indy 500 press trip with ESPN, I was given an exclusive tour of their broadcast facilities at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
ESPN – the biggest broadcaster at the race providing coverage to millions of people across the world – has more than 300 staff working on-site – from production to on-screen talent.
In addition, the broadcaster boasts 96 cameras across the large venue – helping to cover every angle and provide viewers with the very best coverage.
Having worked in various television roles previously, I’m aware of the high-level operational work that goes into producing live television.
But, even still, I walked away with a renewed sense of appreciation for what goes into broadcasting a sporting event of Indy 500’s scale.
ESPN production crews and equipment were in place in Indiana last Friday, illustrating the preparation that goes into the process.
Did you know that the majority of the teams and drivers competing in the Indy 500 literally camp out at the venue, enabling quick and easy access to the track!
I can’t confirm, though, whether the man himself – Fernando Alonso – opted for a caravan or hotel!
AND NOW FOR SOME NEWS…
Three-time Indy 500 champion Helio Castroneves rolled back the years on Friday, speeding to the fastest Carb Day practice lap.
The Brazilian posted a quickest speed of 227.377mph for Team Penske Chevrolet and completed the fastest of his 28 laps in 00:39.5819 seconds.
He was closely followed in the placings by as many as six Honda-powered cars – which included Fernando Alonso – back in sixth position.
Dubai’s Ed Jones, driving 19, ranked 23rd.
Meanwhile, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ James Hinchcliffe suffered engine trouble on turn three.