Indianapolis preparing for Formula One

'TURNAROUND' ALMOST FINISHED TO CONVERT IMS FOR USGP INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, June 15, 2006 - The conversion of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from an oval-racing facility to a road-racing facility for the United States Grand Prix on June...


INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, June 15, 2006 - The conversion of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from an oval-racing facility to a road-racing facility for the United States Grand Prix on June 30-July 2 is nearly complete.

The big task was started almost immediately after the 90th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 28.

Here are some facts about "The Turnaround" - the job of converting the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from a 2.5-mile oval to a 2.605-mile road course, and various other duties required to prepare the Speedway for the USGP.

Tasks performed by the IMS Facilities Department range from moving a total of 3.3 million pounds of concrete barriers to installing temporary signage in the paddock.

The Turnaround "To Do" List:

*Move 130 8-ton concrete barriers to create the USGP pit lane and close certain roads on the infield of the circuit. Place 60 6-ton barriers and 60 4-ton concrete barriers, used in various locations on the circuit.

*Install fencing around Formula One's paddock.

*Two temporary infield grandstands must be built from the ground up. The grandstands each sit on primary roads in the infield, so they must be removed quickly after the event.

*At the outset of road-course preparation, crews must remove the temporary walls and catch fencing on the inside of the oval's Turn 2 and Turn 4, where the road course enters and exits the oval portion of the track, respectively. Heavy machinery is required to move the walls as each section weighs 16,000 pounds.

*Tire barriers are installed along the road course Turn 12, where it enters the IMS oval, and signboards and safety barriers are installed at the road course Turn 1. There are 43,933 tires used to construct the tire barriers at various spots around the 2.605-mile circuit, and approximately 10,000 of those tires are moved during the Turnaround.

*Several roads in the infield must be closed with concrete barriers and tire barriers to create the infield backstretch of the road course, and 13-foot tall catch fencing must be erected.

*The Speedway's oval-track flag stand is removed, and the overhead gantry that holds the Formula One starting lights 20 feet over the track surface is erected at the start/finish line.

*More than 1,000 feet of catch fencing must be removed from along the inside of the oval pit lane.

*The striping on the road course is different than the oval because the traffic is moving in a different direction, so crews have to black out the striping on the oval and install new striping that indicates the alignment of the road course.

*The starting grid for the Formula One cars must be repainted.

*More than 2,000 feet of fencing is put in place to close off the paddock, television compound and other secure areas.

*All of the pit-side Gasoline Alley garages and suites, and the Legends Row building - located directly behind the garages - must be emptied so Formula One teams can move in their equipment. The "A" garages in Gasoline Alley - where Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series teams prepared their cars for the 2006 Indianapolis 500 - are thoroughly cleaned so they can become hospitality space for Formula One teams, with first-class cuisine on the menu.

*Temporary signage, specified by Formula One to keep the paddock in similar form to all other events around the world, must be put in place.


2006 USGP tickets: Tickets are on sale for the 2006 United States Grand Prix, scheduled for Sunday, July 2.

Fans can order tickets online at, 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.

Hours for phone orders and the ticket office are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (EST) Monday-Friday, while online orders can be made at any time.

A three-day "Season Pass" for the event is only $60. The pass is good for admission to IMS for all three days of on-track activity, Friday, June 30-Sunday, July 2. All seating Friday and Saturday is general admission, and the pass provides general admission access to the Viewing Mounds, Infield, First Turn Terrace, South Terrace and Tower Terrace (Sections 39-77) on Sunday, July 2.

Reserved seats for Race Day, Sunday, July 2, start at $75.


Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1