US Grand Prix fever builds

Eddie Irvine and Jaguar helped to build the hype around this weekend's US GP with a demonstration run in New York's Times Square

US Grand Prix fever builds

This year's US GP has seen the teams step up their marketing programmes to new levels, and Jaguar is no exception. Irvine in the Jaguar R1 F1 car and team mate Johnny Herbert in a New York cab drove five blocks from Broadway to Times Square.

The demonstration attracted a crowd in their thousands, and along with Irvine's appearance on the David Letterman Show, news is quickly spreading that F1 is in town, and ready for its visit to America's spiritual home of motorsport, Indianapolis.

After the run, Irvine said: "It was a fun day. I've encountered traffic on a race track, but to be in the thick of it in a Jaguar on the streets of New York was brilliant. There is so much expectation among the American fans - we certainly won over a few more Formula 1 converts today."

Race day at Indianapolis is already sold out, and with 250,000 spectators will provide the biggest single day crowd that F1 has raced in front of since the days of the 14-mile Nurburgring. Practice days are also expected to be well attended, with ticket prices at $10 for Friday and $20 for qualifying on Saturday -- far lower than the European equivalents.

An indication of the level of promotion surrounding the event is that 1995 Indy 500 winner Jacques Villeneuve -- the only driver in the Grand Prix field to have even raced at Indianapolis before - will be available to the media on the Wednesday to preview the race.

British American Racing's Villeneuve is renowned for his dislike of such media events, and limits his promotional appearances to a handful per year, unlike McLaren drivers Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard who do over 100 in a season...

Indianapolis circuit boss Tony George says "Formula 1 must respect our track". To read more click HERE.

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