Memorial Day weekend was a big one for race fans, with the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500, and the Coca-Cola 500 (NASCAR) happening concurrently. This meant a busy weekend for the folks at TAG Heuer, who not only sponsored the Monaco GP, and the sport’s current top team, Red Bull Racing – but also the Indy 500, and driver Alexander Rossi. We saw the watch they released for the Monaco GP, and we were on hand with TAG Heuer to experience the Indy 500 live from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It may have been open wheel racing, like the Miami GP we recounted earlier this month, but this was a very different experience, from the watch spotting, to the racing itself.
This year marked the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500, and is up there with the likes of the 24 hours of Le Mans, and the Monaco GP in being a cornerstone race in all of motorsport. It is, well, 500 miles around a 2.5 mile oval, meaning 200 laps of near top speed with heavy banking connected by two long straights. Each see speeds north of 240mph, with blistering lap times just under 40 seconds. The speed is palpable and punishing compared to the scalpel-like F1 cars that dart between turns under heavy acceleration and braking (and a right turn every now and then). Unlike F1, there is no shortage of passing opportunities with these cars on this track, and we saw plenty of it.