The weekend of July 24-26 was Molson Indy Vancouver, and some friends and I snagged some tickets to it. What a fun weekend. Fast cars, hotter than hot temps, and rednecks galore (from sunburns).
On Friday we got to the ferry terminal on time, and got in the line up. Once on the ferry we zipped up to the cafeteria lineup. I had one of those AHA! moments while in the lineup. Whitespot has had the BC burger on their menu for a very long time. Being from BC, I assumed that is what it stood for. My AHA! moment was when I realized that it really stands for bacon and cheese! I can’t believe I never figured that out before. On with the story. After getting off the ferry we bombed over to Marc’s place, and dropped our gear, and grabbed the beer. His apartment was a little stuffy, but we made due by opening all the windows, and spending most of the time on his deck.
Pics from the weekend are here.
Saturday morning arrived very early. Dragging ourselves out of bed we got ready, then went for breakfast at Slickety Jim’s Chat n Chew. Excellent breakfast eats with very unique names for things (french toast was hungry man honey butter). From the restaurant we walked down to the track to check things out. We saw some of the SCCBC practice and qualifying, and we watched the champ car qualifying. During the day we also wandered around the SCCBC car paddock, then went to check out science world. We never really figured out where their evolution of speed display was, but we saw a couple of the bond vehicles.
Eventually we made our way to the champ car paddock and began to walk amongst some of the most amazing racing machines I have been close to. While I was walking around, I noticed a scooter zipping towards me. Paul Tracy (the eventual winner of Molson Indy Vancouver) was piloting the machine. Cool.
At the end of the day we decided to head out for dinner to the Cactus Club, good eats, and good beer too. After going back to Marc’s place so we could shower, I noticed that the t-shirt I had worn that day was covered in salt crystals. I had been feeling a little guilty that I had drank 2 powerades throughout the day, but after I saw that, I didn’t feel bad at all. Apparently I was sweating a lot. It was pretty damn hot so I shouldn’t be too surprised.
After getting cleaned up we piled into Marc’s car again, and headed downtown to watch a movie: the Bourne Supremacy. Very fun movie. I am not so sure it was as good as the first, but I definitely enjoyed it a lot.
Sunday morning was supposed to be an early one so we could get to the track and see everything. We also wanted to watch Lance Armstrong win his 6th Tour de France. Lance won. We stayed to watch his victory. When we did leave we again headed out for breakfast, this time to a slightly different restaurant. Big pancakes were on order that morning, and they were excellent. We then drove to the race site, and were very amazed at the amount of parking there. Our spot was a block and a half from the track. Very strange, but very nice that we were so close.
We had decided that we weren’t going to use our paddock passes this day, so we attempted to sell them to a scaper. Most wouldn’t deal with them since they were saying the paddock closed an hour later. We eventually found one guy who bought them for $20. Not great, but at least it helped defray the cost of beer.
There were lots of people giving things away at the race too. Near the gate we walked in was an entry booth for a Molson giveaway. The grand prize was an all expenses paid trip for two to see Molson Indy Montreal. This included VIP passes and everything. Very cool prize. Anyway, we entered on Saturday, and although it wasn’t difficult to fill out a ballot, we wanted to go check things out before the racing started. We walked past the booth, and told one of the women manning the booth that we weren’t interested, and that we already entered. We got heckled by her as we walked away! It was funny though.
We wandered the grounds a bit, watched some of the warmup laps, then watched the Atlantic series race. Good action there.
Soon it was time to hit the beer garden! 🙂 Mmmm, beeeeer. Eeeewww, Molson Canadian for $6 a glass. Oh well, when in Rome … As we were enjoying drinking our beer, another Molson rep came around to entice us into entering their draw. Fine, since we were already sitting there, we all decided to enter again. After filling in the ballot, she came back and read them all. For some reason she really liked my name, and repeated it out loud several time commenting on how cool it was. Then she saw my answer to one of the questions and changed it. The question was for how much beer I drink on average. 🙂 weird experience.
Soon it was time for the Champ car race. During the parade lap, one guy got a little to enthusiastic when trying to get some heat into the tires, and crashed into the wall close to our seats. We got to watch the clean up, and that was kind of interesting. I felt bad for that driver though. Our seats were at corners 6 and 7. I quite liked them since we got to see the cars going at a relatively slow pace through the corners, but still got to see how each car handled the different lines. Paul Tracy dominated the race, and that was fun to see. Scary moment for him when he tagged the wall, then a few laps later went into the pits. It turned out he needed more gas, and not due to damage. He had built up enough of a lead that he never lost it while stopping for his splash and go.
As with many events I attend, I was very surprised by how many empty seats there were. Attendance was around 68,000, and for some reason I thought there would be many more grandstands than that. I guess if they can’t sell out 68,000 then why would they go through the effort of trying to fit in more grandstands?
The last event of the day was the SCCBC race. We headed over to a different grandstand for a slightly different vantage point, and were we ever glad we did. The corner was at the end of the longest straightaway, so there was lots of action. Add to that the SCCBC races 4 different classes of cars all at once, and you get instant fun. It was quite an exciting race to watch.
An interesting note for the weekend was that there was there was a dentist from Victoria racing in the Atlantic Series race, and in the SCCBC race. This was Dr. Souliotis. When I mentioned to Sue that a dentist from Victoria was racing, she jokingly asked if it was Souliotis. She didn’t believe me when I said yes. Turns out that this was her dentist!
In all it was a very fun weekend, where I ended up spending more money than I meant to. 😀