US GP: Indianapolis ready to welcome the world

Dignitaries from the city of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the USGP Hospitality Committee and SAP gathered Sept. 16 in downtown Indianapolis to officially kick off the city's hospitality efforts for the third running of the SAP ...

Dignitaries from the city of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the USGP Hospitality Committee and SAP gathered Sept. 16 in downtown Indianapolis to officially kick off the city's hospitality efforts for the third running of the SAP United States Grand Prix Formula One race.

The city of Indianapolis will play host to thousands of visitors from around the United States and the world, and city officials previewed the hospitality and many special events that USGP visitors can expect.

"I'm excited about this race for a whole host of reasons," said Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson. "Indianapolis is legendary for making the world feel at home in our city, and that's not by accident. This is due to our Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association, and everything they do in a first-class manner, and also the local hospitality committee and the volunteers.

"And to the Hulman-George family and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, what can you say? Once again they are helping inject an incredible economic boost into our city. They don't ask for anything in return, they just keep delivering for us and bringing international attention."

As visitors pour into the city in the days leading up to the third running of the SAP United States Grand Prix, which takes place Sept. 27-29 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, they will notice street signage and banners all over Indianapolis International Airport, as well as on the streets of downtown, welcoming F1 fans to Indy.

In addition to the dozens of special events taking place at various museums, galleries, restaurants and entertainment venues around town - not the mention the race itself, which will play host to the largest Formula One crowd of the year - the USGP Hospitality Committee has organized downtown car cruises featuring exotic brands such as Ferrari, Jaguar, Porsche and Chevrolet Corvette.

Musicians, jugglers, face painters and a variety of artisans also will add a cultural tone to the downtown hotel districts on Friday and Saturday evening of race weekend.

SAP, the title sponsor of the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis since its inaugural run in 2000, also is the title sponsor of the USGP Hospitality Committee. According to Bill Wohl, director of public relations for SAP America, the 2003 SAP United States Grand Prix promises to be an ideal showcase for fans and for the motorsports competition and business communities.

"The work of your committee makes it possible for our guests and 200,000 people who come to the city to feel that 'Hoosier hospitality' from the moment they get off the plane (or) the highway," Wohl said. "We're excited to be here next week. We're bringing some 300 corporate guests to Indianapolis, and we expect them to get a great weekend of hospitality and racing, and we hope to do a little business at the same time."

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Series Formula 1
Teams Ferrari