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Fan in the Stands

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#51 jonpollak

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Posted 12 June 2009 - 19:40

Well then...
Having not been to a race, or in the mood to convey my thoughts on this site, for a while I thought this thread might have been "archived" in the switch over to the new format.
Nope...it's still "LIVE"

So ...I had better post something then hadn't I?


You wouldn't happen to have anymore pictures of Françoise Hardy on the set of Grand Prix.

Would you?

Posted Image Posted Image


#52 jonpollak

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 00:40

Over the past year or so I have noticed that the professionals have picked up what I have so casually discarded.
That is to say, the adventures of the "Three Amigos" are now serialised in a column available via the Telegraph.
Not only that...They actually have access to things.

2010 Edition 1 is ready for consumption.

Please read it



Edited by jonpollak, 18 March 2010 - 10:27.

#53 Buttoneer

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 14:59

Dodgins has covered all of these in his feature columns to a greater or lesser extent. I was amazed, looking through the list of incidents, how many of the paragraphs started with "Tony..." :lol:

#54 jonpollak

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 17:26

Wild Things Run Fast
Jp takes the long route to view the 2013 Indy 500

After a whirlwind tour here in the embattled Middle East..
My 6 am wake-up call this morning is the adhān (call to prayer) bellowing out of the İngilizce Türkçe Sözlükten Çeviri.

Start the Clock !!!
Jp's 'cross the globe odyssey' begins NOW.. :drunk:

Our tour coordinator has just bundled me into the van and departure from Ataturk airport is in 2 hrs.
I change at Heathrow for Chicago then a short flight to Cinci where I rent pick up a cheap and cheerful rental and drive up I-74 to a northside hotel in Indy.
First stop..Attempt to get to The Burger Bash by 7pm Friday
Then a few hours sleep before watching Monaco qualy and a trip to the Speedway to say hello to a friend, pick up my scanner, watch the Champions League final and maybe even the Nationwide race. But it's gonna be an early night as we will leave for the track at daybreak (I HATE traffic..and so do my friends coming with)

I'll exchange the 72 virgins in Jannah and eternal blah blah blah for my own personal paradise.
Posted Image

21 hours later…
Made it..

Enjoyable afternoon at the track today.
Got to see friends and check out the tourbus to end all tourbuses
Something called a Newell..What a Jewel !
Makes our mode of transport look like the projects in LeFrak City.
The paint has just dried on the pit stalls...my trousers have some telltale residue.
Crews are just making last minute adjustments to the fuel rigs
There appears to be an issue with Powers rig though... So look to see if that's an issue tomorrow.
Found a place to watch the GP tomorrow morning too ....If I get there in time.

Race Day:

Am I the only one who didn't want to see TK win?

Yes Mr Minion, I believe you are.

Sorry for not posting sooner but... (insert lame 'having too much fun to waste time on Autosport' excuse here)
What a great day it was here at the Speedway.
The night before I was privileged to get to chat to one of my all time favorite Indy500 drivers.
Mr.Johnny Rutherford related some funny Pace Car stories and told me how NO ONE was as proficient at the job as James Garner.

After convincing the dullard of a yellow shirt, who stood blocking the entrance to his parking lot, that the people who need to park there should be able to turn right off 16th street I was happy to receive the plaudits from the pissed-off race goers in the car park queue.. One even shoved a beer in my hand (at 7:30 am) "I'll take you up on that upon our departure" I said. His is the spirit and joie de vivre of the 300,000 rabid fans that make the sojourn to this event every year. These are..My People.

Straight to 16th&Georgetown to soak up the early atmosphere. GodWhackers, scalpers,hawkers and gawkers all congregate to do just as I do...'check it out'.
Being 'early doors' I had no issues with the revised search policy and got inside in about 45 seconds...others I hear were not as lucky.
Keith Duncan and I went up to Rossco's fabulous TOWER SWEET only to find it empty, barring the attendant, so I filled up on brekkie before heading down to the pits and paddock for a snoop.

One's access to restricted areas are determined by 2 things here.
1) What credential you have
2) How good you are at creating a diversion towards the aforementioned yellowshirts..like the evergreen "OOHH LOOK, SHINY TOY"
I usually use the latter but had the right pass today.

As soon as I got to the paddock I saw the hardest working schmooze woman in racing doing her thing.
Talking a great race... I don't know how she does it but if self-promotion and stick-at-it-tude was rewarded she would be in a Penske seat. But it isn't.
Hung out with my benefactors for a bit when Gordon Kirby came up for a chinwag..not with me mind you, although he did recognise me from back in the days of yore, but with the person of interest smiling in the background."What's the deal" Kirby asked. "For some reason..We are SHIT" was Hull's reply. Gordon has more anecdotes and info about racing than I've had hot dinners.

Walking back to the transporters I eavesdropped on a local TV interview where the reporter asked a driver...
"What's your biggest fear around here now that you've gotten the worst out of the way"
"Not getting a good result" was the answer he offered.
Oh dear...It seems there are drivers who just have bad Indy JuJu..

Speaking of TV interviewers...Who's the Hottest Girl at the track 24/7?
Yeah she is...Charming, sweet and so willing to chat to anyone about anything.
I reminded her of our night together at a club years ago and saw a flicker in her eye ...so I left the recollections when her producer came over to talk about in-race features.

I ambled to the pits to see the cars roll out and noticed how some of the cars use natty rims on their rolling tyres.
That Bia sure is a badass as she dispassionately turned down a marriage proposal offered on the grid in front of 300 thousand people.
Timing is everything ..The guy's an idiot.

The Ganassi guys seemed to be working to find a solution right up to the last minute.
Guess it wasn't found...Oh well.

I was looking at Sato's car and wondering out loud when a camera crew from GaoraTV asked for an interview with me.
Why I will never know but in my best Japanese I think I said "May I order the oven broiled tractor please?"
Or at least that's what the producer lady reckoned I'd said.

Just as race time beckoned I hightailed it back upstairs for a Splash and Go before the off.
Talk about a well thought out solution for hard drinking race fans... This place has it all.

The race was enthralling. I cannot stress how important it is for anyone calling themselves a race fan to attend this event.
It DOES NOT transfer to TV in anyway shape or form like it does when you are a part of it.

At the end of it, when the place erupted for TK, I went down to return my scanner ..only to find a gate open behind the Pagoda entrance.
Grabbing the chance with both hands I was heartened to see Yellowshirts and Indiana State Police accosting some poor idiot trying to jump the fence.
With diversion in place I sashayed into the winners circle and got right next to the celebrations.
I shouted out "Você vai ficar bêbado hoje à noite"
He looked over and I snapped this.
Posted Image

I wonder if he's woken up with a hangover


Edited by jonpollak, 30 May 2013 - 11:21.

#55 Frank Grimes

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 00:47

Fantastic story - Indy is on my bucket list for sure. I've been to the first two USGPs in Indy but I doubt they could hold a candle to the real event.

#56 jonpollak

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 01:29

Thanks Frank.
It really is an indescribable experience.
No matter how hard I try.

#57 cheesy poofs

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 14:52

Great piece Monsieur jp.

Loved Indy when I was there. Although I haven't been there since the '93 & '94 races, I have fond memories of the place and the races I saw there.


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Posted 01 June 2013 - 21:48

Fantastic story - Indy is on my bucket list for sure. I've been to the first two USGPs in Indy but I doubt they could hold a candle to the real event.

Went in 2004. Nothing out of this world. I liked Monza 100x more.

#59 jonpollak

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 17:57

Went in 2004. Nothing out of this world. I liked Monza 100x more.

Obviously you had chosen to attend during the mind numbing IRL portion of this event.
Hence your disenchantment.