Much has been said over the years about the Memorial Day Weekend double: racing at both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coke 600. It is time to investigate the challenges associated with a different sort of double that same weekend. Could a driver compete in both the Monaco Grand Prix and Coke 600 in a single day?
(To avoid confusion, Charlotte time will be observed.)
Let's assume our driver starts the Monaco GP at 8:00 AM and the race finishes against its time limit at 10:00 AM. Our driver must board a helicopter and head for the nearest international airport in Nice, France; 10 minutes will be allowed for this. From Nice, France our driver will board a Gulfstream G650, the world's fastest business jet, on a 3,933nm (4,526mi or 7,284km) trip at Mach 0.9. The jet should touchdown in Charlotte*, North Carolina at 5:47 PM. We'll allow 30 minutes for our driver to pass through customs before boarding a helicopter for a 10 minute flight to Charlotte Motor Speedway. They should arrive at Charlotte Motor Speedway at 6:27 PM for a 6:15 PM race - D'?oh!
*While Concorde, North Carolina has an airport, it lacks an international terminal.
Let it be noted that the aircraft involved are not the problem with this plan. Without that 30 minute stop for customs, a driver could arrive at Charlotte Motor Speedway with 15 minutes to spare. The only two solutions are to invent a Mach 1 business jet or bypass customs.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has developed a program called Global Entry to expedite service for low-risk frequent travelers. The program replaces customs officers with a fingerprint scanning kiosk, and Charlotte Douglass International Airport has such a kiosk. If this program could knock off 15-25 minutes, then our driver could start the Coke 600. Of course he/she will still have to start from the back for missing the drivers' meeting.
As to whether a driver can start both races: absolutely maybe.
Opinions expressed in blogs are those of the individual bloggers and do not necessarily represent the views of racing-reference.info.