"Approaching the ISM Raceway in Phoenix, USA, is like approaching a moonbase. The road is as straight a ribbon of blacktop as an ironed liquorice chew, and fires you directly at an imposing ring of rust-coloured mountains. Across open desert "
2019 Indy 500
Driving at 200mph for 500 miles
How hard can it be to drive in circles for 500 miles?
Ask two-time F1 world champion and Le Mans 24 Hours winner Fernando Alonso. Oh, that’s right. You can’t. Because he didn’t even qualify to race.
You’ve clearly been living in a panic room.
Lots. Plenty. Muchos. But it’s all been said and, frankly, that is not the story of the Indy 500.
Oh. What is then?
The Indy 500 is a glorious annual race which rewards drivers and teams on merit alone. It’s one of the few marquee racing events where virtually everyone on track has a proper shot at winning. You can’t say that about Le Mans, for example, or pretty much every race in F1. If a team gets it right, and the driver plays the right hand, and the engine doesn’t fail, and the cautions fall favourably, then any of the 33 cars on the grid could win. And that makes for pretty exciting watching, every single time. The drivers are from all over the world. And, yes, there was even a female racer this year in the form of Pippa Mann. It’s loud, ridiculous and exhilarating four-wheeled entertainment at its very best.
Plus the cars look sexy.
They do. They really do.
We’re really not going to discuss Alonso?
We are not. It is actually very difficult to get a car set up correctly for a banked oval and even more difficult when it’s a car with which you’re not overly familiar because you’re not competing in the series full-time. Many, many words have been written about McLaren’s failures. We will just say that nothing is ever guaranteed in racing and if you don’t show this event the respect it deserves, the Brickyard quickly becomes the boneyard.
Catchy. Got any pictures then?
As it so happens, we do. Spacesuit photographers were embedded in the paddock so we’ve nabbed some snaps to give you a sense of the what it’s all about.
Um, I see milk…
Well, it’s America. Something has to be completely bonkers.
All images: Spacesuit Media – (featured image: Andy Clary)
CLICK TO ENLARGE