Red Bull air race at Indianapolis

Discussion in 'Misc. Posting Board' started by ddindy, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. ddindy

    ddindy Member Staff Member

    I was recently surprised by the announcement that the Red Bull air race series will be visiting Indianapolis Motor Speedway in October.

    If you're not familiar with the series, it combines aerobatics with closed-course racing. Pilots race against the clock one at a time in a series of qualifying and elimination rounds. Recently, there have been several races in the US at auto racing venues.

    I was curious how they could put on a high-performance aerial competition in an urban location like IMS. When the Speedway was opened in 1909, it was way out in the country, but over the last century the city has grown up around it. So just for fun, I took the airspace map provided by IMS and overlaid it on the Google Maps view of the track. Here's what I came up with:

  2. ddindy

    ddindy Member Staff Member

    For all you airplane fans out there: The Red Bull Air Race series came to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in early October, 2016. It was great fun watching the planes fly around the infield, frequently at the same level as spectators in the top of the grandstands. This shot shows eventual race winner (and 2016 series champion) Matthias Dolderer making a slight mistake going through the finish pylons during one of his qualifying runs.

    The amazing thing was how quickly the ground crew could repair the pylons between runs. It usually took only two to three minutes to replace the damaged section and reinflate the pylon.

    Just a Bit Outside
  3. ddindy

    ddindy Member Staff Member

    Petr Kopfstein has an absolutely crazy paint scheme on his airplane. It helps make it stand out against the Indianapolis Motor Speedway pagoda during qualifying for the 2016 Red Bull Air Race event in Indy.

    Petr and the Pagoda
  4. ddindy

    ddindy Member Staff Member

    This weekend I'm giving you a two-parter. During practice for the Red Bull Air Race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Australian pilot Matt Hall clipped a pylon. Rather than being nice and stopping to apologize, he just flew on as the top of the pylon floated away..


    Run Away!
  5. ddindy

    ddindy Member Staff Member

    Looks like a good pass through the gate, right? Wrong! Francois Le Vot pulled up a little early, resulting in a two-second penalty. This move caught out many Red Bull Air Race pilots in Indianapolis.

    A Bit Early
  6. ddindy

    ddindy Member Staff Member

    I decided to post the event photos here rather than the POTD-Random thread. I left the previously-posted shots in the random thread because I only know how to copy, not move.

    Here's a fresh one: Kirby Chambliss, one of only two American pilots in the race, heads into the slalom section of the course. That's the Indianapolis skyline in the background.

    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
    Chernabog1940 likes this.
  7. ddindy

    ddindy Member Staff Member

    My map of the race course at the top of this page isn't bad, but the RBAR Twitter account posted a photo that shows the course so much more clearly. Check it out.
  8. ddindy

    ddindy Member Staff Member

    The Red Bull Air Race series returns to Indianapolis this weekend, October 14 and 15, 2017. I'll be there on the 14th for practice and qualifying. The weather forecast calls for rain on race day, so they may have to extend it to Monday.

    Here are a couple more shots from last year.

    The pylon repair crew is known as the Airgators (because they repair the air gates). Here they are inflating the pylon that replaced the one clipped by Matthias Dolderer in the first photo above.

    Speedy 'Gators

    The Challenger Cup is the training series for the Red Bull Air Race. Two identical planes are shared by the pilots over the weekend. At the end of the year, the top six racers compete for the Cup.

    Up to the Challenge
  9. gary

    gary Member

    i have a question, not directly related to the air races, but i have always wondered and even more now that i have seen the arial view, where do they park the indy 500 crowd?? event planning standards are 1 parking space for 4 tickets, so seating 250,000 makes for an estimated 62,500 cars without track employees and safety crew/vendors etc.
  10. ddindy

    ddindy Member Staff Member

    @gary the Speedway owns a lot of land right around the track. If you look at the track Google (or other) maps, anything adjacent to the track that looks like an open field is used for parking. The field north of the track (known as the North 40) is within the property. There are also several lots across Georgetown Road (the west border of the track) and south of 16th Street (the south border of the track). Northwest of the track is the Coke Lot, property owned by a Coca Cola bottling plant. They used to park a lot of cars in the infeld, but the revised golf course and the addition of the road course eliminated a lot of that. The IMS web site shows the parking areas available for each event.

    Here is the Indy 500 parking map for next year. The air race requires much less parking.

    In addition to official parking, homeowners, businesses and schools in the surrounding area offer parking for a price. And for the big oval races, there are buses running from several locations directly to the track.

    Back in the olden days when trains actually carried passengers, they had rail shuttles that ran between Union Station downtown to a spot within walking distance of the Speedway. Those probably ended in the early 60s.

    Regardless, like any other big event, the best strategy is to arrive early and stay late to avoid the worst traffic.

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