2004 U.S. GRAND PRIX PIT WALKABOUT SCHEDULE SET, ATTRACTIONS ADDED IMS officials offer parking, traffic, gate access tips for fans INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, June 14, 2004 - The schedule for the second annual United States Grand Prix pit walkabout is...
2004 U.S. GRAND PRIX PIT WALKABOUT SCHEDULE SET, ATTRACTIONS ADDED
IMS officials offer parking, traffic, gate access tips for fans
INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, June 14, 2004 - The schedule for the second annual United States Grand Prix pit walkabout is set, and IMS officials are eager to welcome fans for one of the most popular, fan-friendly events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The pit walkabout is open to all 2004 USGP Race Day ticket holders and will take place from 8 a.m.-noon (EST, local time) on Thursday, June 17. This is one of the few fan pit walkabouts available on the 18-event, global F1 schedule in 2004.
United States Grand Prix ticket holders must display their race ticket for admission to the walkabout. No separate walkabout passes will be issued.
The IMS ticket office will be open at 7 a.m. Thursday for fans interested in purchasing race tickets and gaining access to the walkabout. The ticket office's hours on track activity days are 7 a.m.-6 p.m. June 17-19 and 6 a.m.-noon on Race Day, June 20.
During the pit walkabout, fans can walk the pits and stand adjacent to the open garages, providing a clear view of the sleek cars, high-tech equipment and skilled personnel of all 10 Formula One teams, including standouts Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, Mild Seven Renault, BMW WilliamsF1 Team and Lucky Strike BAR Honda. Those top teams from the 2004 season will lead the field into the fifth annual Formula One race on the 2.605-mile road circuit at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Still and video photography are allowed during the walkabout.
The inaugural walkabout last September was a resounding success, as thousands of fans packed the Formula One garage area and pit road to get an up-close look at the exotic cars and sophisticated teamwork of Formula One.
New activities have been added for the 2004 pit walkabout:
*An autograph session from 11 a.m.-noon on the Plaza Stage in the Pagoda Plaza with popular former Formula One drivers, including America's only World Champions, Phil Hill (1961) and Mario Andretti (1978), plus Danny Sullivan, Eddie Cheever Jr., Derek Daly and Stefan Johansson.
*Speed Channel Formula One broadcasters Bob Varsha, David Hobbs and Steve Matchett will play host to a show on the Plaza Stage from 10-11 a.m. featuring interviews with the former F1 drivers participating in the autograph session and current drivers yet to be announced.
*A Car Corral featuring exotic passenger automobiles from Ferrari, BMW, Jaguar and Porsche will be on display on 6th Street, just north of the Pagoda Plaza, beginning at 7 a.m.
*Formula One-themed radio control cars and a USGP-inspired track will be on display in the east lot of the Hall of Fame Museum, courtesy of RC Driver magazine. The public, along with media and F1 team personnel, are invited to try their hand at racing F1-inspired remote control cars from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. The track will be set up among the many F1 team merchandise trailers that occupy the museum's east lot. The merchandise trailers also will be open June 17.
*Live music on the Plaza Stage featuring Living Proof at 9 a.m. and noon.
*A 1976 Shadow Ford DN8-1A, raced by Tom Pryce in his final full season in Formula One, and a current Ferrari Formula One car will be on display at the entrance to the Pagoda Plaza.
While the overwhelming response of fans flocking to the pit walkabout in 2003 combined with morning rush-hour traffic to cause heavy traffic around the Speedway, track officials and local law enforcement are prepared for the 2004 event. IMS officials offer the following tips for race fans traveling to the pit walkabout:
*Gate access: The Speedway opens to the public at 7 a.m., and IMS officials encourage fans to arrive early to avoid rush-hour traffic and the thousands of Formula One fans expected for the walkabout. Two of the Speedway's gates will open to the public for the pit walkabout: Gate 2, the Speedway's main gate and tunnel located on 16th Street, and Gate 7, located on Georgetown Road several hundred yards south of the Speedway oval's Turn 4. Both gates are equipped for automobile and pedestrian traffic.
*Traffic tips and parking: Pit walkabout customers driving into the Speedway from north and west of the track are encouraged to enter the grounds via Gate 7, off Georgetown Road, because cars traveling east on 16th Street toward downtown Indianapolis will not be permitted to make a left turn into Gate 2. Gate 2 will be open only to cars traveling west on 16th Street that can make a right turn into the gate.
Free parking will be available in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway infield, accessible from either Gate 2 or Gate 7.
The complete USGP pit walkabout schedule (all times EST/local):
Public Gates open; Car corral opens along 6th Street in infield (just northeast of Pagoda Plaza)
Pit lane opens, walkabout begins; Hall of Fame Museum opens
Living Proof plays at the Pagoda Plaza Stage
Speed Channel show, featuring Speed Channel Formula One broadcast personalities Bob Varsha, Steve Matchett, David Hobbs interviewing current and former F1 drivers
Autograph session at Plaza Stage with former F1 drivers Phil Hill, Mario Andretti, Danny Sullivan, Derek Daly, Eddie Cheever Jr. and Stefan Johansson
Pit walkabout concludes; pit lane restricted
Living Proof plays on Plaza Stage (noon-1 p.m.)
Plaza Café, concessions in Pagoda Plaza close
Tickets: Tickets for the 2004 United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis on June 20 are on sale. Fans can order tickets online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com, by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700 or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, or at the ticket office at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Parking and camping information also can be obtained through the ticket office.