This week the action in the
Ganassi Indy Racing League moves to St. Petersburg for the lone street circuit of the season, where some folks are not exactly marching around chanting “I am Mindy. HEY!” Tampa 10 news says those folks would be lawyers.
'We can't get back and forth to our office. We can't use the telephone. We can't work on the computer without being more than annoyed. The noise is amazing,' says Lydia Castle of Gulf Coast Legal Services. Her office sits right on First Street South, and her desk is just feet from the street.OK, I can appreciate how lots of loud Honda engines can make business conversations difficult. But come on, people – this will be the third year of this event. Maybe by now you can find somewhere else to chat other than the corner Starbucks, no?
'The cars are just so close to us. You just can't concentrate,' she says. 'When there are cars with huge engines zipping by at ungodly miles per hour, it's almost impossible to get work done.'
Her colleague, attorney Kathlyn Mackovjak, found it nearly impossible to carry out a business meeting at the Starbucks down the street.
'In general, it's very distracting. It's loud, it's very noisy and it just goes on forever,' Mackovjak says. 'I'll be glad when it's over.'
What’s really fascinating is that THIS is the type of news being reported about this event. You would think the TV stations would be all giddy to get footage of cars screaming around the town, but instead they go out and find some sourpuss who hasn’t had her daily triple half-caff no-whip mochachino.
Here is the reality: for better or worse, this is the future of open-wheel auto racing. They won’t be building too many more ovals tracks when they can throw some barricades up downtown at a fraction of the cost. For all of their faults Champ Car manages to attract fans in Long Beach and Toronto with exactly this kind of event, and with ICS cars now featuring baffles for regulating the noise you can expect they are intending to add more of these types of courses in the future.
It smacks of heresy when compared to the Tony George manifesto of 1995, but the times are always a-changin’. Despite the fact a fan can only see one or two turns at a time, it would seem the braintrust of the IRL is bent on adding a few more of these types of races in the coming years. Street courses cost less, don’t destroy a lot of cars, and attendance figures indicate lots of folks dig the festival atmosphere.
In other words, a high-speed parade. It’s like twice the fun of oval racing, but without all that messy passing.
In the meantime, maybe someone could have the ever-charming Dan Wheldon drop by Gulf Coast Legal Services and hand out some free tickets. If nothing else, they could send those hard-working folks an IndyCard for their troubles.