IPS: US GP event schedule announced

UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX SCHEDULE, SUPPORT SERIES UNVEILED INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, June 7, 2006 -- The United States Grand Prix Formula One race will start at 1 p.m. (local time) Sunday, July 2, the highlight of three days of on-track action at...

UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX SCHEDULE, SUPPORT SERIES UNVEILED

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, June 7, 2006 -- The United States Grand Prix Formula One race will start at 1 p.m. (local time) Sunday, July 2, the highlight of three days of on-track action at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The schedule also includes racing in three support series -- the Indy Pro Series, Porsche Michelin Supercup and Formula BMW USA -- giving fans an interesting variety of competition over three days of action on the 2.605-mile road circuit at IMS.

The first six United States Grands Prix at Indianapolis have taken place in front of some of the largest crowds in the Formula One World Championship.

"We're excited about the schedule for the United States Grand Prix," said Joie Chitwood, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president and chief operating officer. "Every day is filled with on-track action for our loyal fans, and there are plenty of fan-friendly activities off the track, making this a truly world-class event."

On-track activity starts Friday, June 30 with practice for Formula One and practice and qualifying for all three support series. Cars will be on track, with few breaks in the action, from 8:45 a.m.-6:20 p.m.

Two one-hour Formula One practice sessions, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., are the highlights of the Friday schedule. F1 cars are the most exotic, high-performance racing machines on Earth, and the field for the USGP includes defending World Champion Fernando Alonso, seven-time World Champion and four-time USGP winner Michael Schumacher, 2000 Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya, 1995 Indianapolis 500 winner and 1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve and Scott Speed, the first American driver in F1 since 1993.

The Indy Pro Series, the development series for the IRL IndyCar® Series, will begin track action Friday with a practice session from 8:45-9:20 a.m. for the second annual Liberty Challenge race. Qualifying for the Liberty Challenge will take place from 12:30-1:15 p.m. Friday.

Porsche Michelin Supercup sports cars will return to Indianapolis for the seventh consecutive year, with practice from 3:30-4:15 p.m. and qualifying from 5:45-6:25 p.m. Friday.

Formula BMW USA open-wheel, winged formula cars, competing at Indianapolis for the third consecutive year, will practice from 9:50-10:20 a.m. and qualify from 4:45-5:25 p.m. Friday.

Fans should arrive early Saturday, July 1, as the first of two 14-lap Formula BMW USA races during the event starts at 8:40 a.m. The final Formula One practice before qualifying takes place from 10-11 a.m., with another Porsche Michelin Supercup qualifying session set for 11:30 a.m.-12:10 p.m.

The unique, new "knockout" qualifying format for Formula One will take center stage from 1-2 p.m., setting the starting grid for the United States Grand Prix.

In the "knockout" format, all 22 drivers can run as many laps as they want in the first 15-minute session. The slowest six cars are eliminated and fill the bottom six places on the starting grid.

After a five-minute break, all times are erased. A second 15-minute session knocks out the next group of the six slowest cars, which fill 11th through 17th on the grid.

Times again are erased, and after a five minute break, the final 10 drivers go into a 20-minute shootout session. They can run as many laps as they want, and the top 10 grid places are determined by their fastest lap times during that session.

Racing will round out Saturday afternoon. The Liberty Challenge starts at 2:30 p.m., with Indy Pro Series competitors racing 25 laps. The first of two 16-lap Porsche Michelin Supercup races during the event starts at 3:30 p.m.

Two support series races will usher in a complete day of competition Sunday, July 2. The second Formula BMW USA race starts at 9:30 a.m., followed by the second Porsche Michelin Supercup race at 10:25 a.m.

The Race Day buildup for the United States Grand Prix Formula One race starts with the drivers' track parade at 11:30 a.m., followed by the grid presentation from 11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

The seventh annual United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis is scheduled to start at 1 p.m., with a race distance of 73 laps.

Off-track activity is centered around the popular United States Grand Prix Pit Walkabout, which is returning for a fourth consecutive year for Race Day ticket holders. Gates will be open from 7 a.m.-4 p.m., with the F1 pit lane open from 8 a.m.-noon. Other fan-friendly activities, such as driver autograph sessions and driver interviews, will take place all day.

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2006 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX SCHEDULE (All times local; subject to change)

<pre> THURSDAY, June 29 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Pit Walkabout: Gates open 8 a.m.-noon Pit Walkabout: F1 pit lane open

FRIDAY, June 30 Time Series Session 8:45-9:20 a.m. Indy Pro Series Practice 9:50-10:20 a.m. Formula BMW USA First practice 11 a.m.-noon Formula One First practice 12:30-1:15 p.m. Indy Pro Series Qualifying 2-3 p.m. Formula One Second practice 3:30-4:15 p.m. Porsche Michelin Supercup Practice 4:45-5:25 p.m. Formula BMW USA First qualifying 5:45-6:25 p.m. Porsche Michelin Supercup First qualifying

SATURDAY, July 1 Time Series Session 8:40-9:15 a.m. Formula BMW USA First race (14 laps) 10-11 a.m. Formula One Third practice 11:30 a.m.-12:10 p.m. Porsche Michelin Supercup Second qualifying 1-2 p.m. Formula One Qualifying 2:30-3:05 p.m. Indy Pro Series Liberty Challenge race (25 laps) 3:30-4 p.m. Porsche Michelin Supercup First race (16 laps)

SUNDAY, July 2 Time Series Session 9:30-10 a.m. Formula BMW USA Second race (14 laps) 10:25-11 a.m. Porsche Michelin Supercup Second race (16 laps) 11:30 a.m. Formula One Drivers' track parade 11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Formula One Grid presentation 1 p.m. Formula One United States Grand Prix (73 laps)

</pre> ***

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 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.

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.

-ims

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About this article
Series Formula 1 , Formula BMW , Indy Lights
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya