Plenty of excitement for F1 fans during USGP Pit Walkabout

U.S. GRAND PRIX FANS IN STORE FOR EXCITING 2005 PIT WALKABOUT Michael Schumacher appearance, SPEED Channel Q&A, autographs among highlights INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - The United States Grand Prix Pit Walkabout is a must-see event...

U.S. GRAND PRIX FANS IN STORE FOR EXCITING 2005 PIT WALKABOUT
Michael Schumacher appearance, SPEED Channel Q&A, autographs among highlights

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - The United States Grand Prix Pit Walkabout is a must-see event for Formula One fans Thursday, June 16 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

After all, where else will you see these exciting events, and more, in one day?

*A chance to see Formula One cars and equipment up-close.

*A public press conference with seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher.

*Question-and-answer sessions with Formula One drivers, personalities and Speed Channel's F1 broadcast team.

*Autograph sessions with Formula One drivers.

The Speedway's pit lane will be open for the Pit Walkabout from 8 a.m.-noon (local time), while the Pagoda Plaza area, located directly behind the Bombardier Pagoda control tower, will be open from 7 a.m.-4 p.m. A United States Grand Prix Race Day ticket is required for access to the Pit Walkabout.

During the 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 F1 Team and West McLaren Mercedes. Still and video photography are allowed during the Walkabout.

Fans can enter the IMS grounds beginning at 7 a.m. via two gates: Gate 2, the 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. The Hall of Fame Museum opens at 7 a.m.

The IMS ticket office also will open at 7 a.m. Thursday for fans interested in purchasing Race Day tickets and gaining access to the Pit Walkabout. A Food Court will be open in the Pagoda Plaza, two Formula One simulators will be available, and a Michael Schumacher Ferrari F1 car will be on display.

Additional activities for the 2005 United States Grand Prix Pit Walkabout include:

*Michael Schumacher public press conference: At 9:30 a.m., seven-time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher will participate in a public press conference along with Hiroshi Yasukawa, director of Bridgestone Motorsport, at the Pagoda Plaza Stage.

*Speed Channel Q&A's: From 10:45 a.m.-2 p.m., Speed Channel broadcasters Bob Varsha, David Hobbs, Steve Matchett, Peter Windsor, Sam Posey, Derek Daly and Bob Jenkins will take turns playing host to question-and-answer sessions with Formula One drivers and other personalities on the Plaza Stage. Scheduled participants (subject to change):

10:45 a.m. Q&A with Speed Channel broadcast team
11:15 a.m. Paul Stoddart, Minardi F1 Team principal
11:45 a.m. Gil de Ferran, Lucky Strike BAR Honda sporting director; Tiago Monteiro, Jordan Grand Prix driver
Noon Jenson Button, Lucky Strike BAR Honda driver
12:15 p.m. Takuma Sato, Lucky Strike BAR Honda driver; Anthony Davidson, Lucky Strike BAR Honda test driver
12:30 p.m. Felipe Massa, Sauber Petronas driver
12:45 p.m. Jonathan Summerton, Formula BMW USA driver; Jim Bowie, Formula BMW USA series manager
1 p.m. Jeff Simmons and Jaime Camara, Menards Infiniti Pro Series drivers
1:15 p.m. Eric Braeden, F1 fan and legendary star of "The Young & The Restless"
1:30 p.m. Mario Andretti, Michael Andretti and Marco Andretti

*Autograph sessions: Formula One drivers and personalities and Menards Infiniti Pro Series drivers will sign autographs between 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. in the Pagoda Plaza. The autograph session schedule (subject to change):

11:30-11:45 a.m. Christian Klien, Red Bull Racing driver
11:45 a.m.-noon Christijan Albers, Patrick Friesacher, Minardi F1 Team drivers
Noon-1 p.m. Mario Andretti, Michael Andretti, Scott Speed
Noon-12:15 p.m. Takuma Sato, Anthony Davidson
12:15-12:30 p.m. Jenson Button, Gil de Ferran
12:45-1 p.m. Felipe Massa
2-3 p.m. All Menards Infiniti Pro Series drivers
2:20-2:40 p.m. Tiago Monteiro, Narain Karthikeyan, Jordan Grand Prix drivers
2:30-2:45 p.m. Ralf Schumacher, Jarno Trulli, Panasonic Toyota Racing drivers
3:10-3:30 p.m. Mark Webber, BMW WilliamsF1 Team driver

*Live music: Elevation, a U2 tribute band, will perform on the Plaza Stage from 2:30-4 p.m.

*Merchandise: Formula One team merchandise trailers also will be open June 17 in the Speedway Hall of Fame Museum's east parking lot.

Speedway officials and local law enforcement will make every effort to minimize the traffic issues caused by the mix of Formula One fans flocking to the Pit Walkabout and morning rush-hour traffic. IMS officials offer the following tips for race fans traveling to the Pit Walkabout:

*Arrive early: IMS officials encourage fans to arrive early to avoid most rush-hour and Pit Walkabout traffic. The two gates that will open for the walkabout - Gate 2 and Gate 7 - are both 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.

***

Tickets: Tickets for the United States Grand Prix can be purchased online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com, or by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700 or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area. Parking and camping information also can be obtained through the ticket office.

-ims-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Takuma Sato , Jarno Trulli , Jenson Button , Ralf Schumacher , Michael Schumacher , Mark Webber , Anthony Davidson , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Narain Karthikeyan , Christijan Albers , Mario Andretti , Felipe Massa , Paul Stoddart , Tiago Monteiro , David Hobbs , Scott Speed , Marco Andretti , Derek Daly , Patrick Friesacher , Jeff Simmons , Christian Klien , Sam Posey , Jaime Camara , Hiroshi Yasukawa , Jonathan Summerton
Teams Ferrari , Red Bull Racing , Mercedes , Sauber , McLaren , Williams , Toyota Racing , Renault F1 Team , Minardi , Jordan