People’s Day Sets Grand Prix Record Crowd
http://cars.grandprix.com.au/Melbourne celebrated its 10th Grand Prix in style with People’s Day setting a new opening-day attendance record of 77,400 fans at the 2005 FORMULA 1™ Foster’s Australian Grand Prix.
Victoria’s Premier Steve Bracks was at the Albert Park circuit to welcome the People’s Day initiative which gave free general admission entry for Thursday to all patrons.
“What a great way to celebrate Melbourne’s 10th anniversary as a Grand Prix city by opening up the Grand Prix to as many people as possible,” said Mr Bracks.
The Premier was joined by Minister for Tourism and Major Events Mr John Pandazopoulos and Australian Grand Prix Corporation chairman Ron Walker as they cut a ceremonial ribbon around the 2005 Minardi Formula One car, the centre-piece of the late-morning ceremony.
“People’s Day is the Grand Prix’s gift to Melbourne for their loyal support over the last decade,” said Mr Walker. “Coming on top of the Street Parade, the most successful event of its kind ever seen in Melbourne, this new first-day attendance record shows just how much the Grand Prix means to the city.”
Minardi F1 team owner Paul Stoddart presented his new team to fans at the F1 Experience in the Golf Course area at Albert Park. “We are in a fantastic city,” said Mr Stoddart. “Melbourne puts on the best Grand Prix in the world and everyone should be very proud.”
Blue skies and warm sunshine greeted the large crowd as the Ultimate Speed Comparison took to the track, with BMW Williams F1 star Antonio Pizzonia pitting an F1 car against a V8 Supercar Commodore and a 1 Series BMW driven by Australians Steven Richards and Will Davison.
Australia’s Mark Webber headed up a star-studded cast at autograph-signing sessions through the day, joined by Rubens Barrichello and British ace Jenson Button of BAR-Honda.
Well, the day was excellent! Kira had a curriculum day so Liam also tool a day off kinder and to the track we went. Liam’s first sight of the track was the V8 practice session, and did his eyes light up! We met up with Grumps and Nanna at the pontoon bridge (which Kira had been dying to get back to), and toured around the Tattersall’s classic car display. Liam was able to have a ‘sit’ in one of the cars as one of the crew members gave hime the offer; Kira was just about to have a turn when the driver turned up to take the car ou to the track.
Next was the F1 display tent and mechandising tent. The kids enjoyed playing on the Harleys. It was good that the speed challenge was held as it was the only F1 on the track, this meant that the kids were able to see one “for real” without having the ear plugs etc that are needed in a tru F1 test session.
A ride on the ferris wheel topped off the day.
Thursday, March 3, 2005 
9:30 – 9:50 Cleanevent V8 Utes Practice (20 mins)
9:50 – 10:05 V8 Supercar Prizewinners’ hot laps (15 mins)
10:20 – 10:40 Trading Post Formula 3s Practice (20 mins)
10:55 – 11:25 V8 Supercar practice (30 mins)
11:40 – 12:00 Michelin Carrera Cup Practice (20 mins)
12:10 – 12:40 The Ultimate Speed Comparison Practice & Demonstration #1 (30 mins)
12:55 – 13:15 Trading Post Formula 3s Qualifying (20 mins)
13:25 – 13:40 Tattersall’s Historic Demonstration (15 mins)
13:55 – 14:15 Michelin Carrera Cup Qualifying (20 mins)
14:30 – 15:15 V8 Supercar Qualifying (45 mins)
15:30 – 15:50 Cleanevent V8 Utes Qualifying (20 mins)
16:00 – 16:10 The Ultimate Speed Comparison Demonstration #2 (10 mins)
16:25 – 16:45 Michelin Carrera Cup Race 1 (8 Laps)
17:05 – 17:25 Trading Post Formula 3s Race 1 (8 Laps)
17:45 – 18:00 Cleanevent V8 Utes Race 1 (6 Laps)
The food tents are going to have to lift their game by the weekend, the service was disasterous … unlabelled white boxes being placed into bae maries — pot luck!
Now that Red Bull Racing have taken over the Jaguar Racing team, they have also picked up David Coultard, Christian Klien and Vitantonio Liuzzi as theri drivers. “Stay with the Jaguar tops and get a Red Bull hat”, I thought. Not a stich of the Red Bull Racing merchandising to be seen … what’s the story?
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