Kissing those bricks! Photoshooting Red Bull Air Race - Indianapolis / USA

 

Revisiting Indianapolis, home the famous NASCAR Motor Speedway is always my big pleasure. It invokes both excitment and a sense of respect towards the Speedway's rich history and tradition. This spectacular location proved yet again to be another great place for shooting amazing photographs of this spectacular event, with Motor Speedway looking absolutely astonishing when captured from the air. As of 2018, Indianapolis is the third most populous city in the American Midwest and 16th most populous in the U.S, with an estimated population of 863,002. Home to the world's biggest single-day sporting event – the historic Indianapolis 500 – and host to the likes of Formula One and NASCAR, the city is primed and ready for even more full-throttle, no-holds-barred racing.

Photo by Predrag Vuckovic

After a spectacular debut in 2016, and hosting the 2017 season finale, the Red Bull Air Race returns to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana, USA for the third time in a row in 2018. For 2018 the IMS hosted the penultimate race of the season, it was one of the most nail-biting races ever held at this historic motorsport venue!

Photo by Predrag Vuckovic

The pilots battled for World Championship points in the racetrack above the world's first purpose-built motor speedway, in an aerial racetrack designed to push them to their limits. Indianapolis is the first US-based stop in 2018 and fans could see the adrenaline-packed action unfold above the Motor Speedway when the Red Bull Air Race touched down in Indianapolis on 06-07 October.

Photo by Predrag Vuckovic

It's a first outing for the Red Bull Air Race in Indiana, USA, with the state capital Indianapolis set to experience the high-speed, low-altitude racing at the heart of the World Championship. Home to the world's biggest single-day sporting event – the historic Indianapolis 500 – and host to the likes of Formula One and NASCAR, the city is primed and more than ready for even more full-throttle, no-holds-barred racing.

Photo by Predrag Vuckovic

As many of the stops on the World Championship calendar are classed as exotic, pilots often have to battle against the elements, with extreme heats, shifting winds and harsh storms always a possibility. As a result, no two Red Bull Air Races are ever the same.

In a span of 63 days in fall 1909, 3.2 million paving bricks, each weighing 9.5 pounds, were laid on top of the original surface of crushed rock and tar to upgrade the Motor Speedway. Asphalt was gradually added to various sections of the brick surface, with patches added to rougher sections of the turns in 1936 and all turns being completely paved with asphalt in 1937. 

Photo by Predrag Vuckovic

In 1938, the entire track was paved with asphalt except for the middle portion of the front straightaway. In October 1961, the remaining bricks on the front straightaway were covered with asphalt. A 36-inch strip of the original bricks was kept intact at the start/finish line, where it remains today as the fabled Yard of Bricks.

Photo by Predrag Vuckovic

The tradition of "kissing the bricks" was started by NASCAR champion Dale Jarrett. After his Brickyard 400 victory in 1996, Jarrett and crew chief Todd Parrott decided to walk out to the start-finish line, kneel and kiss the Yard of Bricks to pay tribute to the fabled history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.