Two for the Road is a hangout for mystery writers Tammy Kaehler and Simon Wood to chat, reminisce, gossip, speculate and argue about all things motorsport.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Which Track Next?

by Tammy

For a few minutes yesterday, we toyed with the idea of going to the Formula 1 race at Suzuka in October. That's Japan. That's the cool, figure-eight of a track that means drivers go both clockwise and counter-clockwise in the same race.

That sounds awesome.

In the end, the timing isn't going to work with some other trips planned this year (most specifically, going to the last-ever ALMS-run Petit Le Mans, the weekend after Suzuka). But looking into the possibility made me add that track and race to my racing wish list.

And it got me thinking about what tracks or events I want to get to. I know we've had this conversation before, but I've learned more, and new tracks and events have come up. So tell me the top two or three races on your wish list. Here are mine....

  1. Le Mans. We're going next June to see the hoopla around the brand new Porsche LMP1 effort (and the new GT contender).
  2. Indy 500. It's about time I get to this race. Not because I love ovals (you all know me better than that), but for the spectacle. It won't happen in 2014, but maybe 2015....
  3. F1 at Suzuka. Partly I want to experience the track. Partly I'm intrigued about experiencing a race in a very, very polite society. And partly I want to see F1, anywhere.
Where do you want to go next?


  1. I've been to Indy four times. See it for the spectacle, but don't expect to get to see much racing, except on the big screen in the infield. The sight lines there are atrocious. There are only a few really good seats in the entire grandstand, mostly high in B stand and E stand. I suppose you could sit in the Northwest Vista, in turn 3, if you don't mind roasting and only seeing the action on the backstretch and the short chute in three and four. Folks there probably thought Hildebrand won the race a couple of years ago, since his crash coming off four was out of their sight lines.

    My first trip there, I sat in the paddock near Start-Finish, thinking that being in the middle of the front stretch would give me the best view. All I saw all day was "whoosh-whoosh", and some pit stops. Did get to see Mario roll by off-power after dominating all day, and saw Al Sr. take his fourth checkers, but that was pretty much it. My best seat was in the B stand for the first IRL 500, where I saw Buddy Lazier almost get pushed into the pit wall by Davey Jones before Lazier went on to win it, broken back and all. Also saw Mears win from the Southeast Vista in turn one (awful seats, except that Sullivan crashed right in front of me), and Luyendyk's first win from Stand A.

    I check the seat sales for Indy every year after the 500, but there are never seats available in the E stand. I guess they're handed down in people's wills and such. It would be worth buying one on the aftermarket, just for the great view and the roof over your head, if you only plan to do Indy once.

  2. Awesome tips, Rick, thanks! It's clear I'll need to hunt down resale tickets or start working on contacts now.

  3. I would like to see F1 at Monaco, maybe a Cup Race at Bristol and the Knoxville Nationals at Knoxville, Iowa.

    I have not been to Indy for the 500 but was there with some great friends in 2003 for the USGP. The spectacle was beyond anything I had experienced in racing until then. Being part of a racing crew does not allow much time for enjoying any spectacle. We had access to the Pennzoil suite on the front straight up till race day and then had seats on the Start/Finish line for the race. I was with the guys doing the Fox Sports Racing Radio show live from the track. Fun time and I highly recommend any racing fan to go to Indy for any race. I walked into the Speedway the first time and got goosebumps thinking about all the storied history of the place.

  4. Back in the mid 1980's, I went to Michigan to see the Michigan 500. The sightlines were awesome and from our mid-priced seats, we could see the action all the way around. Compared to Indy (which I used to attend religiously when I lived in the Midwest,) there is no comparison, but then, Michigan was built long after the Speedway. I'd love to see IndyCar go there again, and I'd also love to go to Pocono for IndyCar. (I AM more fond of IndyCar on ovals, since that was the original intent of the series.)

    As far as road racing is concerned, I'd love to go to LeMans, and my second choice would probably be Road America.

  5. I say LeMans because I want to go and we should make it a family trip.


  6. Who's "family," Simon? There are a bunch of us here who want to go ... do we all count?!

  7. A little late commenting on this post, but anyway...

    1) Le Mans - Easy top choice for me.
    2) Road America - Preferably for multi-class sports cars.
    3) COTA - F1 in the US on a purpose built track.

    and the list could go on.

    Regarding the Indy 500, I've been the last three years and four times total. Always in the same seats in E stand. Yes, they belong to the family of a long time friend and they've had those 12 seats for 50+ years. It's half spectacle and half race, but I love it all.

    Tammy: we often have a ticket or two available, and we'd be happy to have you join us in turn 1.