Project Mugello. Named for the famous card stunt Ducatisti preform in the Mugello grandstands near Florence, it took a city of Ducatisti to make it happen, 26 Ducati owners clubs in all. First order of business, we needed a grandstand! Then sell 1000 seats, literally a year of work and phone calls. In the end it was all about a couple minutes of pure luck. Literally a card stunt in a hurricane, pulled off in driving rain and 45 mph winds, the remenants of Hurricane Ike. When the time came to raise the cards the wind suddenly died down, we got in our 60 second show and back the winds came with a vengence, proving what WE knew all along, EVERYBODY, even Mother Nature, loves Ducati's! Special thanks to Foremost Insurance who sponsored the grandstand and Joe Kivett of Jacob-Davis Productions whose expertise made the difference when things got tough, the Ducati grandstand team from Bologna, the Desmodromiclubs of Roma and Kansas City, the Hoosier Hooligans, Desmohio and DRILL (among MANY others) for the technical help and manpower needed to perform this miracle. :-) And Extra Special Thanks to Bill Carr at Ducati Indianapolis. Without his help the entire Project Mugello 5 days would have been impossible to organize.
Story and Photos by Vicki Smith (except where noted)
Grandstand Photo - Steve Leukenech
We did it!
Steve Leukenech Photo
Indianapolis Motor Speedway, after more than a year of planning this is a welcome sight
First view was from the plane. The red and white tents are Ducati island. Next to that, the Ducati grandstand at the base of the diamond screen. The grandstand towers over the Island, so big you can see the darned thing from space!
Steve Leukenech Photo
From the minute I step off the plane race tie-ins are all you see. This is the speedway store in the airport, first place of many offering Ducati items. That's a Stoner GP bike on display. Between here and my luggage there muct have been 4 Redbull displays.
Wednesday 11am. The Island is quiet, organized and ready to rock. This is literally the calm before the storm.
First order of business on Thursday is loading in the final round of the Ducati Superbike Concorso.
Speedway security is tight, we have two hours to receive, photograph and set up the 22 entries.
Don Hilsenroth checks in his (eventual class winner) Ducati Bostrom 998. Ducati-Roc DOC, which Don is the President of, entered a strong contigent looking to take home the Top DOC prize, a year long contest based on points earned each round. The efforts paid off - Ducati Roc took home the prize.
The Red Bull Rookies cup tent was right next to Ducati Island, as was the "Power Station". It's incredible the manpower and professionalism they have dedicated to this project.
Thursday ended with the first rain shower of the weekend so we called it a day and left to check out the DOC Central hotel.