The United States Grand Prix is wet. And windy. Like, soak-through-my-clothing wet and turn-my-umbrella-inside-out windy.
Upon the Formula One activity at Circuit of the Americas thrown way off schedule on Saturday, it dawned on me — what are some of the best ways motorsports fans wait out rain delays? I’ve seen my fair share of them, but my standard policy is to huddle under some sort of coverage and do a “please let us get this race in today” dance (or maybe I’m just awkwardly moving to dodge the rain. Who knows).
In the midst of this continual downpour over COTA, we look to some of the most legendary rain-delay stakeouts for assistance (not surprisingly, a lot of the good ones come from the series infamous for its rain delays — NASCAR). And we also want to know from you — do you have any rain-delay stories? Any good ways to pass the time?
If there ever was a perfect caption for this picture, I believe it is the one above. This rain-delay gem comes from a NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 weekend in North Carolina back in 2009, when the start of the race got delayed by weather. It doesn’t look like an activity I’d dive into right away (yes, that was an intentional pun), but it’s one way to call the photographers over to you if you’re not a star in the race.
These two folks waited out a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rain delay at Texas Motor Speedway in April a couple of years back with some beer and a funnel (I was at that race too, and it was a rough one as far as weather goes). While it looks like the woman might actually drinking funneled rain water, we are assured that it’s alcohol.
This is a step above me running around in rain boots with my umbrella flipped inside out, but below using an actual boat for transportation (given, it’s a pretty good step — I wouldn’t mind being on wheels out here at COTA). The scene comes from this year’s Indianapolis 500, where the qualifying session saw about the same fate as F1’s sees right now — as in, we’re supposed to be running it and we’re not.
F1 ran a wild practice session this morning before the gates opened to fans (for weather concerns), but qualifying continues to delay — seriously, we just got another delay update as I typed this sentence, and qualifying is now set for around 3:30 p.m. ET.
The rans out here are dedicated, though. Despite all of the rain, they’re cheering and waving their flags at the camera. Teams are interacting from the pit late, though, and it’s quite entertaining — there’s been folks doing the wave with the audience, pretending to be rowers, on the ground, ballroom dancing and even breakdancing. Yes, breakdancing. The media center is getting a kick out of it.
In the meantime, I’m off to buy a boat. If you’re in the Austin area, feel free to get one too and we can host our own race.
Photo credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images, AP Photo/Jim R. Bounds, AP Photo/Ralph Lauer, AP Photo/Darron Cummings
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