USGP fans speak out on what race means to them
Quotes from selected fans about why they enjoy Formula One and the United States Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The 2007 USGP is June 15-17. Fans were interviewed June 14 during the USGP Pit Walkabout at IMS:
EDUARDO BARROS, Tamarack, Fla., native of Brazil: "It's the best category of motorsports in the world. The technology. Everything that you can imagine about cars, it's here. The best things in the world. I've been watching since I was a kid, with Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Nelson Piquet. So this is really a dream come true, being here." (About seeing Formula One at IMS): "Everything is easy. We can have access to things that we can't get in other categories. This is really nice. It's been a really nice experience here."
SCOTT BOMBACHER, Sacramento, Calif.: "Formula One is the best. Global, highest tech, best drivers. It's full-on racing." (Do you like the international appeal of the event?): "Absolutely. You see people from Europe, from Asia, from all over. That's nice."
TINA CAMPBELL, Detroit: "I've liked Formula One for about 15 years now. I'm glad it came to the United States. I like this because it's more advanced, more high-tech. I also like the international aspect of it. I watched the Indy 500 when Jacques Villeneuve won, and that's when I started watching Formula One. I knew he was going to Formula One. He really impressed me because he won that race after a two-lap penalty." (About Formula One at IMS): "Indy I like because it's more free; it's more open here. You can see from all different vantage points. I like that."
DAILSON FRANCA, Miami: "Formula One is the best. The best race you can get, the cars. Everything is great. We can meet everybody from the world to see the race. It's awesome." (About Formula One at IMS): "This is my third time here. It's a great circuit. They let us come in the pit lane, see the cars, see the pits. The girls, too."
JEFF GABLE, Indianapolis: (Gable was wearing a Little 500 sprint-car race T-shirt): "I like all types of racing. From midgets to Formula One." (What appeals to you about Formula One?): "The technology is real cool. The fact it's an international series is really neat, and just the cars. They're so sophisticated. They're really cool. That's one of the main things about Formula One; you have to build your own car." (About Formula One at IMS): "It's close to my house. I live by Washington Square. The fact that Formula One is here in Indianapolis is really cool."
ERIC GOBBIE, Charlottesville, Va.: "This is the eighth race (USGP at Indianapolis), our eighth trip here, and I really, truly feel it's the best value in motorsport in the United States. Literally, you can have four days of fun and frolic at IMS for 60 bucks. Do the math, it's great. And with all the support groups (races), the open paddock today, it's just really nice. It's a really fan-friendly event. The crowd is international. Depending on where you walk, you can hear a lot of different languages. I was chatting with a guy in the pit earlier today from Huntington Beach (Calif.). It's just a neat group of people from all over that enjoy Formula One. We're passionate about it. The sport itself, the nature of the high technology and the competitiveness, that's why we're here. We're big fans. Our cat's name is Enzo; our dog's name is Rubens."
JOEL LUGO, Lara, Venezuela: "Me and my dad, we have been Formula One fans since a long time ago. The first time I came here was 2002 and since then, every year he and I are here. It is easier to come up here than it is to the race in Brazil. The organization you have here is really great. The parking is within feet of everything, the people that help us get wherever we have to go is really great. We hope Formula One stays here in Indy for a very long time."
ERNIE McGEE, Gadsden, Ala.: "Definitely the road course, where they're turning left and right. This is more international. You get people from all over the world. It's a different crowd here and something you don't get to see but once a year. I've been every year since the first year. We're staying across the street in a motor home." (About being a Formula One fan in the heart of NASCAR territory): "I've got some Formula One stuff in my office, and everybody always thinks it's an Indy car. So I just tell them, 'Yeah.'"
LUCIEN PINET, Burlington, Ontario: "Formula One always has been a thrilling sport for me from the senses, the sound, the smell and feel. The whining of the higher revs. It's such a technologically advanced racing form. No disrespect to any other form of racing, but there's always a challenge in that you have characters, you have personalities, you have the drivers themselves, the owners themselves. It is the circus. It's the circus of the people. The people love it because the cars that are represented here are also street cars, in most cases. The technology is transferred down. I just find it a much more exciting atmosphere. I've been going to Formula One since 1979. I've been to this race since the second year (2001), every year. A bunch of buddies of mine from Canada, we come down. We have people from Quebec come down with mobile homes. We park across the street. This venue is fantastic. Indianapolis Motor Speedway is so accommodating to people. They let you walk around. You can sit anywhere you want except for Race Day. The pricing is incredibly affordable. This venue itself, the way they treat people, the way you have access to all areas of the racetrack, it's just a fabulous place to come."
ANDRE SANTIAGO, Coral Springs, Fla.: "I've been watching since I was a little kid. Ayrton Senna. So I'm still a big fan." (What do you like about IMS?): "It's good. It's nice. It's close to home. It's just perfect."
STEPHEN SHERMAN, Topeka, Kan.: "It's the epitome of motorsports. It's the highest technical motorsport that's going. The technology, and also the USGP here at Indianapolis is wonderful. Last year was the first year we didn't come, and that's because it was on July 4th weekend. My grandkids refused to let me come. Otherwise, we've been here since day one."
FROOZ THIELKING, Cincinnati: "We've been going to Formula One races since 1995, in Montreal, and have come here since they started running here every year. It's great for us; it's two hours from home." (Why do you love Formula One?): "Because of my husband, he loves it (laughs). I like it very much. It's good entertainment. I'm a big Ferrari fan. Formula One is unique. With only one race in the U.S., a lot of people still don't know a lot about it, and you come here it feels good because you're surrounded by passionate Formula One fans. You're with 100,000-plus people that know Formula One, and that makes it special."
2007 USGP tickets: Reserved Race Day and three-day "Season Passes" for the 2007 United States Grand Prix, June 15-17, are on sale to all customers.
Ticket information can be found any time at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com or by calling the IMS Ticket Office at (800) 822-4639 or (317) 492-6700. Ticket Office hours are from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.