In its fifth year, the Indy GP seems to be finding its place on the on IndyCar schedule. When first announced everyone groaned at the idea of running a race at the speedway before the Indy 500. It’s sacrilegious, it takes away from the prestige of the 500, it’s a money grab, etc. It might be the last one but it’s so much more than that.
Is the Indy GP the most exciting race on the schedule? Absolutely not and you won’t see anyone outside of the offices on 16th and Georgetown try to convince you otherwise. What it is though is a great primer for the next two weeks. Everyone is clamoring to get back to the speedway. Since the series doesn’t use the entire month of May for the 500 anymore the GP allows us to get back and enjoy Indianapolis. It also allows IndyCar to add a race to the schedule without having to come to an agreement with anyone. Also, it’s profitable.
Will Power won again on Saturday, his third win in the Indy GP but this year it was different. It was interesting.
Following 2017’s absolute bore of a race, like a Part 1 of a two-part final movie the GP last season was more suited for Stevie Wonder to watch than actual IndyCar fans. The 2018 edition, however, was a must watch, it was a revival of a race that was teetering on is this necessary or do we pull a NASCAR and keep it on the sole basis that it’s Indianapolis.
Thankfully Robert Wickens came along and helped to spice up the show. Wickens early season success has to bother every team that passed on him. This guy is primed to be an IndyCar driver for the next decade and win multiple championships. Saturday he went toe to toe with one of IndyCar’s best. The only thing that allowed Power to prevail was tire strategy. Josef Newgarden attempted to help Wickens out but it was too little too late.
What Is It Like Actually Attending The GP?
This season was my first time attending the GP and I’ll be back again next year. My column;
Once you accept the GP for what it is and what it isn’t you’ll enjoy it so much more. The GP isn’t meant to be a prestigious event to rival the 500. It’s not sacrilegious, it’s not spitting on the sacred ground. It’s building the excitement for the 500. Personally, it did just that for me. Being at the speedway only has me more excited to get back this weekend for qualifying and then for the 500.
If you’re sitting in the grandstands honestly I’m not sure why you make bad life decisions but you do. Sitting on the front stretch is about the dumbest thing you could possibly do. Those seats are great for the 500, not for the GP. The oval turn 4 grandstands are nice, if you sit there I don’t question your sanity. Oval turn 1, absolutely do not sit there.
What you need to do is spend less money and buy a general admission ticket. There is no permanent seat for you posh ass to sit in. Instead, there are grass hills and your own two feet. Or one foot, don’t want to discriminate.
I started the race, in turn, one of the road course. An awesome yellow shirt let me stand in the access gate to shoot some pictures, didn’t blow his whistle and shot the shit with me. Yellow shirts so far this year, thumbs up. From there I worked to the backside of the mound to get a better looks at the turn 2,3,4 complex. The hillsides are packed, smokeshows sitting on the wall, drunk dads being carried out by their sons like they’re in Saving Private Ryan, it’s Indianapolis. But if you want to walk around it’s no problem.
After that, I crossed over to the golf course and watched some of the race there before crossing back over. From there I found a fire access gate on the backstretch that was fenceless and another yellow shirt let me shoot from there.
The complex in oval turn 1 while not exciting is a great place to watch the race from. The action is right in front of you, pit in is right there and you’re literally on the other side of the fence. Not to mention a gigantic HD video board is right behind you which made that spot the best of the day.
Overall attending the GP was great. Watching these cars squat in the corner is phenomenal, it’s must-see. Having two drivers fight it out and not miss it because ABC was showing Helio drive around solo made it even better. The excitement is there, the day drinking is there, and it’s Indianapolis. This sounds like a paid endorsement and I wish it was.
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