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Hotels At Indianapolis Airport

hotels at indianapolis airport

Bernie Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone

Mr. Berinie Ecclestone. British Grand Prix, 2005.

All in all, this season has been gratifying since Fernando Alonso has been so incredibly quick and consistent. For his youth, he seems a very mature driver, and he appears to have the balance of his emotions and ego placed in proper perspective. In short, the guy is super talented and very cool. This is the best thing that could happen to Formula 1.

As far as Indianapolis is concerned, I believe there were unseen forces that may be quite pleased to see Formula 1 fall flat on its face here in America. Of course, when viewed from a strictly fan perspective, the entire episode was one giant farcical disappointment.

Several matters come to mind. Michelin, the internationally known and recognized tire company somehow did not do the necessary research and showed up in America without a tire that was capable of performing on the Indy track surface. Granted, Bridgestone had been at the 500, so they naturally would have had more data on the track surface and so were well advised in what compounds they had chosen prior to arriving at the Brickyard. It is astounding however, when you analyze the sequence of events. That first and foremost, a tire company participating in Motor racing at the highest level of international competition with billions of dollars involved throughout the entire enterprise, would be capable of going in blindly without having at least examined what options they might need to have or what kind of obstacles they might be expected to incur. It was not a secret that the race track had been resurfaced in some way or another which resulted in a grittier more abrasive characteristic.

Michelin shows up and discovers that the tires they have are relatively useless and worse yet they are dangerous. Ralf Schumacher goes off in a high speed shunt, and one other driver whose name escapes me now, goes out as well, and all the while Michel in have no clue. Except they do realize and admit that the safety of the drivers precludes them from simply pressing forward and acting as if everything would be alright. For this I give them a certain degree of respect.

So when the windup ensues you have the race itself, and all that it represents in terms of the perennial desire for Formula 1 to someday, somehow establish itself firmly and loyally in the minds and hearts of American racing fans.

And then you have the internecine intrigue between the intricately drawn factions of the International Grand Prix circus. Here we enter into cultural, financial, philosophical, and not the least, personal conflicts and long standing animosities.

From the Bridgestone perspective, why would they have wished to smooth over a gaffe that exposed their world's greatest rival as something of a complete incompetent?

From the FISA point of view, I suppose they felt they would open a Pandora's box of possibilities wherein which rules that are so incredibly complex, must be continuously revised and reformatted to account for so many variables within the sport and the technology that it draws from in large measure. These rules would perhaps then be the constant point of negotiation as other points of departure would come into question.

Finally, Scuderia Ferrari was showing as much compassion as the Italian Expeditionary Tank forces extended to Hailee Sallase and his vastly out numbered, camel bourne , sling shot bearing defense force in Ethiopia. Another less than memorable episode in 20th century Italian history.

FISA was in no way potent enough by way of silent persuasion to effectuate an ultimate compromise. Max Mosley would have been wise, in my opinion, to have made his way to the paddock and the negotiating table, because the entire BRAND of Formula 1 was suffer ring a devastating blow to its credibility, marketability, and general point of popular acceptance.

As it turns out, he remained somewhere in Europe, Paris I suppose, and from that distance felt safe enough while allowing Ecclestone to bear all of the justifiable ire and resentment from those fans who made their weekend around seeing a genuinely competitive International Grand Prix. They deserve, and I believe they eventually will receive, their money for admission refunded.

Furthermore, Mr. Ecclestone is one person who would have, if he were able, in and of his own will, put together a compromise solution so as to have the racing fans enjoy what they had come to see. There is no one that I know, in or out of Formula 1 who is more desirous of establishing a permanent presence and appreciation for Grand Prix racing in the U.S. than Bernie Ecclestone. He has made repeated attempts to educate, if you will, the civic leaders here in Las Vegas about the kind of product that Formula 1 confirms as unique and attended by a very high end marketing segment with disposable income far greater than what is demographically described by the NASCAR and other forms of all American motor r

2010 Indianapolis Air Show

2010 Indianapolis Air Show

Douglas A-1 “Skyraider”

The Douglas “Skyraider”, powered by a Wright R-3350 18-cylinder radial engine producing 2700 hp, could carry more than 8,000 lbs in bombs, is considered to be the best propeller attack aircraft ever produced, and yet it was literally designed over night in a hotel room. Douglas designers were in Washington, DC in 1944 to see if they could still bid on a new aircraft design for the Navy, and were informed that the new aircraft would only be considered if they produced the plans the next morning. The engineers returned to their hotel, worked all night, and the next morning presented the new design to the Navy, which accepted the plans. Although first flown in March of 1945, first production did not come off the assembly line until 1946, too late for the “Skyraider” to see action in WWII. However, the “Skyraider” served in both Korea and Vietnam where it earned the reputation for the ability to carry heavy loads, loiter for long periods over the target, and absorb large amounts of battle damage and still return home. The most famous role of the “Skyraider” was that of “Sandy” missions in Vietnam, which was the escorting of rescue helicopters to the sites of downed airmen and providing suppressing fire during the retrieval of the pilots. Although it had a propeller and couldn’t fly nearly as fast as the jet aircraft of that era, it could stay at the rescue site and drop bombs and rockets for extended time periods until the pilots were extracted.

Pictured above, Bureau No. 135178, a Douglas AD-5W/EA-1E, was accepted by the Naval Bureau of Aeronautics at El Segundo, CA on June 30, 1953. It then served with VMA-332 in Korea aboard the USS Ranger, making 70 traps during its sea-borne career. During the next 20 years this particular aircraft flew 2,300 hours and was also one of the last Skyraiders retired by the military, leaving active duty on June 17, 1973. It is one of only four AD5/A1Es still flying in the world today, and this specific model is the largest single engine airplane ever built, with an 18 cylinder 3350 cubic inch engine that produces 3020 hp. The AD-5W/EA-1E has six seats in the crew cabin and is currently owned and operated by Eric Downing, President of Midwest Wild Relics Refuge LLC, based at Creve Coeur Airport in Saint Louis, MO. Learn more about the Skyraider at Midwest Wild Relics.

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