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What Happens on a Tour Can Occur in the Race ...
"I’m always amazed when something happens during a race that I’ve told my groups about," explained RPM Tours founder Mary Mendez. "I picture them in their suite saying 'Mary told us this could happen.'"
Recently, Juan Pablo Montoya took exception to a move a less experienced driver made during the final INDYCAR practice at the Pocono “Tricky Triangle", a 2.5-mile tri-oval. The driver tried to overtake Montoya in Turn 3 where the racing groove narrows down to barely one car width. Montoya had a big moment trying to save his car as he slid off into the grass to avoid making contact.
I’ve known Montoya since he was a rookie in 1999. Earning the reputation of having the fastest hands in racing seems to still hold true in spite of all the years that have passed. Not every driver could have avoided contact the way Montoya did.
Observing Montoya taking off on his scooter as soon as he exited the cockpit with such fierce intensity, it caused me to later ask him where he was going. He told me he went to discuss the safety issues of Turn 3 with that less experienced driver. So I used Montoya as an example, telling my group about the character of the track, contrasting the drivers' experience, and alerting them to what could be a problem area.
Ironically during the race, title contender Graham Rahal (who climbed within 9 points of Montoya vying for the Verizon INDYCAR 2015 Championship with only one more race remaining) was caught up by that same inexperienced driver trying to squeeze his car in Turn 3 as it funneled down to one lane. Both crashed into the wall. The less experienced driver seemed not to understand that the drivers in front of him were lifting to allow cars to merge into the single lane. Instead, and ignoring Montoya's warning, he thought it was a great opportunity to pass by carrying his speed into the turn. Fortunately, no one was injured.
This is a typical example of the content, knowledge, and access our guides have of the drivers, track challenges, strategy, and what can happen in the race. We set the scene so your guests are much more savvy watching the race. They won't be just watching the cars go by.