Archives for Indianapolis Motor Speedway PR

IMS To Welcome Fans Back during INDYCAR Harvest GP Weekend presented by GMR

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020 – For the first time in 2020, Indianapolis Motor Speedway will welcome fans to the Racing Capital of the World for the INDYCAR Harvest GP presented by GMR weekend. Up to 10,000 spectators can be in the grandstands each day of racing action Oct. 1-4, per approval from the Marion County Public Health Department.

Tickets are available now via IMS.com and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

The massive facility, which holds more than 300,000 people, will provide two spectator zones with up to 5,000 fans in each. The zones will be located in Turns 1 and 4 of the oval, offering strong sightlines of the road course. Strict health and safety rules will be in place, including the following:

  • Face coverings must be worn throughout the property at all times;
  • All fans will receive temperature screenings before gate entry;
  • Grandstand seats will be marked for distancing;
  • Attendees must use pre-assigned gates and remain in their designated zones.

Global Medical Response, the world leader in compassionate, quality emergency medical and patient relocation services, will be the presenting sponsor of the penultimate weekend of INDYCAR racing this season.

“We can’t wait to see fans come through our gates for the first time in 2020,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “They’ll be greeted by a vastly improved facility, featuring significant upgrades to the spectator experience. We’re also extremely grateful to have a presenting sponsor with the expertise and resources of GMR as we look to implement our detailed and comprehensive health and safety plan.”

The plan, which includes each attendee receiving a mask and a bottle of hand sanitizer upon entering the track, was developed in consultation with state and local health officials.

This event weekend is highlighted by an NTT INDYCAR SERIES doubleheader, with races Friday, Oct. 2 and Saturday, Oct. 3. It will be the penultimate event of the series’ season as the field pursues the champion’s prestigious Astor Challenge Cup to be awarded Sunday, Oct. 25 at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

The INDYCAR Harvest GP will pay tribute to a storied IMS event, the Harvest Classic in September 1916. The Harvest Classic was the only racing event held outside of May at IMS from 1911 through 1993. The event featured three races, all won by legendary driver Johnny Aitken.

Fans also will see a host of facility improvements during the event weekend, including more than 30 new LED video boards, refreshed concession stands and restrooms, and 5G wireless connectivity throughout the facility.

The first race will air at 3:30 p.m. (ET) Friday, Oct. 2 on the USA Network. NBC will broadcast the second race at 2:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday, Oct. 3, with WTHR-13 airing the action live in Central Indiana.

Also racing that weekend will be the first pairing of two major sports car series — the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli and its North American counterpart, GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS. Former Indianapolis 500 pole winner Ryan Briscoe is among the drivers in the Indianapolis 8 Hour event held Sunday, Oct. 4.

The event also will showcase drivers in SRO America’s Pirelli GT4 America, GT Sports Club America and the TC America series.

The full on-track schedule is available at IMS.com.

Venue Enhancements on Display as INDYCAR Title Rac
Reaches Exciting Final Stretch
INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020 – For the first time in 2020, Indianapolis Motor Speedway will welcome fans to the Racing Capital of the World for the INDYCAR Harvest GP presented by GMR weekend. Up to 10,000 spectators can be in the grandstands each day of racing action Oct. 1-4, per approval from the Marion County Public Health Department.Tickets are available now via IMS.com and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.The massive facility, which holds more than 300,000 people, will provide two spectator zones with up to 5,000 fans in each. The zones will be located in Turns 1 and 4 of the oval, offering strong sightlines of the road course. Strict health and safety rules will be in place, including the following:Face coverings must be worn throughout the property at all times;All fans will receive temperature screenings before gate entry;Grandstand seats will be marked for distancing;Attendees must use pre-assigned gates and remain in their designated zones.Global Medical Response, the world leader in compassionate, quality emergency medical and patient relocation services, will be the presenting sponsor of the penultimate weekend of INDYCAR racing this season.“We can’t wait to see fans come through our gates for the first time in 2020,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “They’ll be greeted by a vastly improved facility, featuring significant upgrades to the spectator experience. We’re also extremely grateful to have a presenting sponsor with the expertise and resources of GMR as we look to implement our detailed and comprehensive health and safety plan.”The plan, which includes each attendee receiving a mask and a bottle of hand sanitizer upon entering the track, was developed in consultation with state and local health officials.This event weekend is highlighted by an NTT INDYCAR SERIES doubleheader, with races Friday, Oct. 2 and Saturday, Oct. 3. It will be the penultimate event of the series’ season as the field pursues the champion’s prestigious Astor Challenge Cup to be awarded Sunday, Oct. 25 at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.The INDYCAR Harvest GP will pay tribute to a storied IMS event, the Harvest Classic in September 1916. The Harvest Classic was the only racing event held outside of May at IMS from 1911 through 1993. The event featu

Tomorrow at the Track: Sunday, Aug. 23

Sunday, Aug. 23
INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020 – Information about Race Day for the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, Aug. 23 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

SCHEDULE: (All times Eastern)

1 p.m.: All Cars on Grid

1 p.m.: NBC Live Coverage Begins

1:20 p.m.: “On the Banks of the Wabash”

1:47 p.m.: Indianapolis 500 Driver Introductions

2:08 p.m.: Presentation of Colors, Military Joint Services

2:09 p.m.: Invocation – Archbishop Charles C. Thompson, Archdiocese of Indianapolis

2:10 p.m.: Rifle Volley

2:11 p.m.: “Taps”

2:12 p.m.: National Anthem – “Singing Surgeons” Dr. Elvis Francois & Dr. William Robinson

2:14 p.m.: First Flyover – U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds

2:14 p.m.: “Drivers, To Your Cars.” – Dave Calabro

2:20 p.m.: “Back Home Again in Indiana” – Jim Cornelison

2:22 p.m.: Second Flyover – U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds

2:22 p.m.: Command To Start Engines – Roger Penske, Chairman, Indianapolis Motor Speedway

2:30 p.m.: Green Flag, 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge (200 laps). Flag waved by Dan Towriss, President and CEO, Gainbridge.

Indy 500 Drivers Pay Surprise Visits to Local Fans after Annual Drivers’ Meeting

INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020 – In a tribute to fans unable to attend the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, the 33 starting drivers made surprise visits to longtime “500” ticketholders in the neighborhoods near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, Aug. 22 to thank people for their support.

The unique pre-race celebration saw the drivers in 2020 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS convertibles in front of 33 different homes throughout the Town of Speedway. While adhering to local health protocols, the drivers delivered overflowing gift bags from IMS, INDYCAR, Pepsi and Miller Lite, among other event partners.

The event followed the annual Indy 500 Drivers’ Meeting – held virtually this year – and included a parade of the red convertibles down Speedway’s Main Street, where drivers saluted an enthusiastic gathering of local residents and employees and patrons of local businesses.

Longtime Speedway resident Brenda Hamm, who owns 16 race tickets, got a visit from pole winner Marco Andretti and his famous grandfather, Mario Andretti, the race’s 1969 winner. Fittingly, the car’s license plate read “No. 1.”

“Utter surprise and excitement,” Hamm said. “I’ve lived here more than 30 years, parked cars and made breakfasts for people on race morning but this …”

One of Hamm’s first reactions was to have the Andrettis sit in her white front porch chairs.

Said Marco: “We’ll be back for dinner.”

The Andrettis will be honored at the start of Sunday’s race. Mario will drive Honda’s Fastest Seat in Sports two-seater Indy car with his son, Michael – Marco’s father – riding in the back seat, putting three generations of one of racing’s most famous families on the track at IMS together for the first time. The two-seater is part of the ceremonial pace laps to begin NTT INDYCAR SERIES races.

The 200-lap race airs on NBC at 1 p.m. (ET), with Central Indiana fans able to view the race live on WTHR-13 in its entirety for only the third time in its history. The first local airing was in 1949; the second was in 2016 when the 100th Anniversary race was deemed a sellout.

The field is expected to take the green flag at approximately 2:30 p.m. NBC and the Pennzoil INDYCAR Radio Network will have the coverage locally and nationally.

This race features eight former “500” winners, including Helio Castroneves, who is bidding for his record-tying fourth victory at IMS, all with Team Penske. A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears are the only drivers to have won “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” four times. Mears was the most recent to join the club, in 1991.

Rinus VeeKay of Ed Carpenter Racing will start fourth, the highest-starting rookie among the five in the field. Alex Palou of Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh joined VeeKay in last weekend’s Fast Nine Shootout for the fastest nine qualifiers.

Sunday’s front row is comprised of Andretti, 2008 race winner Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing and 2017 race winner Takuma Sato of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

The second half of the field is loaded with accomplished drivers. One-time “500” winners Will Power of Team Penske (2018) and Tony Kanaan of A.J. Foyt Racing (2013) will start next to each other in Row 8; Pagenaud, who won for Team Penske last year, will line up in Row 9 alongside two-time Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso; and Castroneves will start from the inside of Row 9.

Other former winners include Andretti Autosport drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay (2014) and Alexander Rossi (2016). They will start fifth and ninth, respectively.

IMS officials announced Aug. 4 that this race would be staged without spectators due to conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Indy 500 Winner, Rookie of the Year To Be Honored on Special Show

INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020 – The winner of the 104th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge and other top finishers, including the Rookie of the Year, will be honored in a television special airing Monday night, Aug. 24 in Central Indiana.

The one-hour show, “104th Indy 500 presented by Gainbridge Victory Special,” will begin at 8 p.m. (ET) on Indianapolis’ NBC affiliate, WTHR-13. The show will be available on the INDYCAR Pass on the NBC Sports Gold on Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 25.

“While this has been an extraordinary and unusual year for the Indianapolis 500, we’re looking forward to celebrating the winner of the 104th Running and the Rookie of the Year through this special program,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “We hope our fans, whose loyalty we appreciate more than ever this year, will enjoy the show and the memories of what should be an exciting, competitive race.”

The annual post-race celebration will be hosted by WTHR-13 personalities Dave Calabro and Taylor Tannebaum. For the first time in “500” history, the event will be limited to participants due to the local health protocols in place.

The “500” airs Sunday at 1 p.m. on NBC, WTHR-13 and the Pennzoil INDYCAR Radio Network.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Issues Decree for Fans To Extend their Indianapolis 500 Streaks

INDIANAPOLIS, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles issued a special decree Saturday, Aug. 22 to fans of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. In the document, Boles thanked fans for their continued support and assured them that IMS will grant an extension of their Indy 500 attendance streaks due to the special circumstances created by the coronavirus pandemic.

Boles declared that fans who watch or listen to the 104th Running and return for the 105th Running in May 2021 will officially “Keep Their Streak.” Fans can watch this year’s race this Sunday on NBC at 1 p.m. (ET) or tune in via the Pennzoil INDYCAR Radio Network, and tickets can be renewed at IMS.com through Sept. 1.

“I, J. Douglas Boles, President of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, do hereby declare and express the Speedway’s deepest gratitude and appreciation to our race fans, and hereby proclaim that by watching or listening to the 104th Running with their family and friends and by returning for the 105th Running in May 2021, race fans will officially “Keep Their Streak” and extend their consecutive Indianapolis 500 attendance record, unbroken and unblemished, well into the future,” Boles stated in the decree.

To view the complete decree that was sent to all ticketholders, click here.

Indianapolis 500 ticketholder streaks range from two to 68 years in length, and more than 36,000 tickets are sold annually to customers that have attended the race for 35 consecutive years or more.

“We love our fans and their passion and commitment to the Indianapolis 500,” Boles said. “We appreciate their loyalty and they truly help make this event ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.’ So many of our loyal customers have been attending the Indy 500 for decades, and certainly the conditions we have faced this year as a result of COVID-19 are beyond their control. We wish our fans could be here with us at IMS on Sunday and know they will be here in spirit. We will preserve all attendance streaks, and we can’t wait to welcome everyone back home again for the 105th Indianapolis 500 in 2021.”

For more information, visit IMS.com.

Indy 500 Fans Can Show Racing Spirit through Fun, Exciting Digital Opportunities

NDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Aug. 21, 2020 – Race fans will have a virtual presence at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge through a series of interactive opportunities announced today.

Submitted photographs showing fans’ racing spirit at home will be showcased in a Virtual Fan Mosaic, displayed with an image of the Borg-Warner Trophy. The mosaic will be shown on NBC’s broadcast, the IMS big screens and various social media platforms.

The mosaic will show that fans of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES were “there in spirit” for the 104th Running. Submissions may be shared at IMS.com/500InSpirit or using the hashtag #500InSpirit on Twitter and Instagram.

NBC will air Sunday’s race at 1 p.m. (ET), with WTHR-13 airing the action live in Central Indiana.

NBC is collecting notes from drivers and fans to be included in its “Message in a Milk Bottle” time capsule, to be opened next May prior to the 105th Running. The 33 drivers have written notes that have been secured in individual milk bottles that will be opened prior to the 2021 Indianapolis 500. The messages focus on the people drivers will race for Sunday and why the “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” is special to them.

Fan submissions will be put in a giant milk bottle and can be submitted using the hashtag #MessageInAMilkBottle on Twitter.

Advance Auto Parts is calling on fans to celebrate DieHard powering most of the “500” field in 1970 — 50 years ago — by submitting videos of themselves doing their best rendition of the iconic “Start Your Engines” command for use on social media and at IMS on Sunday. Enter at www.CallingAllDieHards.com. Entrants will be eligible for a random drawing for 50 winners to receive a $200 gift card good toward the purchase of a DieHard battery or any other items sold by Advance.

Finally, fans can create and share #Indy500 branded selfies using the new photo wall feature of the IMS Mobile App, available now on Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store for Android.

Honda’s Fastest Seat in Sports To Lead Andretti Family into History before Indy 500 Sunday

NDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Aug. 21, 2020 – For the first time in its storied history, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) will host three generations of racing royalty on track together just before the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, Aug. 23. Legendary racer Mario Andretti will take his son Michael on a thrill ride in Honda’s Fastest Seat in Sports, before Mario’s grandson and Michael’s son, pole winner Marco Andretti, leads the NTT INDYCAR SERIES field to the green flag in the 104th Running of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

Though an Andretti has been competing at IMS since 1965, Sunday will mark the first time that all three generations of the accomplished racing family will run together on the iconic 2.5-mile oval. Mario Andretti, who ranks second on the all-time INDYCAR win list with 52 career victories, won the 1969 Indianapolis 500. Michael Andretti posted 42 wins in his distinguished career and led more laps (431) than any driver that has raced in the Indy 500 without producing a victory. Marco became the first Andretti in 33 years to win the Indianapolis 500 pole position when he proved to be the fastest driver in qualifying last weekend, earning the NTT P1 Award in his Andretti Herta Autosport w/ Marco & Curb-Agajanian Honda-powered entry.

Mario will be behind the wheel with Michael riding just behind his father when they turn high-speed laps in a custom-made, two-seater Indy car for Honda’s Fastest Seat in Sports on Sunday. They will ride in front of the 33-car field before Marco Andretti and his fellow drivers race into Turn 1 at the start of the Indianapolis 500 at 2:30 p.m. ET Sunday (live, NBC and Pennzoil INDYCAR Radio Network).

“I’m one of the few that can say I’ve been teammates with both my father and my son – and now to have the opportunity for all three of us to be on track together, on Race Day at IMS, is really special,” Michael Andretti said. “Dad and I are really excited to do this together, but we’re still fighting about who’s going to drive.”

Said IMS President J. Douglas Boles: “The Andretti family has such an incredible history and tradition at the Indianapolis 500. What a great way to celebrate the Andretti legacy with three generations of the family on track together for the first time at IMS, led by the Fastest Seat in Sports.”

Honda’s Fastest Seat in Sports continues to help wave the green flag at NTT INDYCAR SERIES races and is a fan favorite. Mario Andretti has provided memorable rides for Fastest Seat in Sports participants in recent years, including such special guests as Lady Gaga, Channing Tatum, Nick Cannon, Mark Wahlberg and Julian Edelman.

Visit IMS.com for more information on the 104th Indianapolis 500 Presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, Aug. 23. Live coverage of the race will start at 1 p.m. (ET) on NBC and the Pennzoil INDYCAR Radio Network.

NBC Sports, Pennzoil INDYCAR Radio Network To Provide Complete Coverage of Indy 500 Race Weekend

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020 – Race fans can see and hear all of the action of Race Weekend for the 104th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge through extensive coverage by NBC Sports and the Pennzoil INDYCAR Radio Network.

Television and streaming coverage will start on Miller Lite Carb Day, Friday, Aug. 21, featuring the two-hour final practice for the 33 starters in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” NBCSN and NBC’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES streaming platform, INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold, will cover Miller Lite Carb Day from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (ET).

Race Day coverage starts on NBC at 1 p.m. Sunday with a 90-minute pre-race show filled with feature stories, interviews and analysis, followed by race coverage from 2:30-6 p.m.

Mike Tirico and 2005 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year Danica Patrick will serve as hosts of the NBC Race Day telecast. Leigh Diffey will call the action, with former Indy 500 starters Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy providing analysis. Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast and Kevin Lee will serve as pit reporters, with Rutledge Wood interacting virtually with fans and providing features during the race.

Fans also can relive the excitement and the memories of Race Day through an Indy 500 Interview Special show from 8-9 p.m. Monday, Aug. 24 on INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold.

Pennzoil INDYCAR Radio Network coverage of Race Weekend starts with Miller Lite Carb Day final practice from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday. Radio coverage of Race Day starts with a pre-race show at 1 p.m., followed by live race broadcast from 2:30-6 p.m.

All NTT INDYCAR SERIES races are broadcast live on the Pennzoil INDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 211, XM 205, IndyCar.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile APP powered by NTT DATA.

Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. Nick Yeoman, Jake Query, Michael Young, Dave Furst, Rob Howden, Ryan Myrehn, Chris Denari and Rob Blackman will report from the pits and turns.

Fans also can find the complete TV and radio broadcast schedule for the entire event by clicking here.

Tomorrow at the Track: Friday, Aug. 21

Friday, Aug. 21
INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020 – Information about the 104th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on-track activity for Miller Lite Carb Day, Friday, Aug. 21 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

Schedule (All times Eastern):

11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Indianapolis 500 Final Practice

TV Tune-in Schedule:

11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.: NBCSN and INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold

Pennzoil INDYCAR Radio Network Tune-in Schedule:

11 a.m.-1 p.m.: National affiliates, XM 205, INDYCAR.com and INDYCAR Mobile App

Singing Surgeons Pair with Fan Favorite Cornelison for Emotional Indy 500 Race Day Performances

INDIANAPOLIS, Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020 – The stirring sounds of the Singing Surgeons and Jim Cornelison highlight pre-race festivities for the 104th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, Aug. 23, performing live at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the emotional and historic countdown to “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

Dr. Elvis Francois and Dr. William Robinson, who went viral in March with their Instagram rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Cornelison, a powerful tenor and an IMS fan favorite, returns for his fourth consecutive performance of “Back Home Again in Indiana.”

NBC’s broadcast begins Sunday at 1 p.m. (ET), with WTHR-13 airing the coverage in Central Indiana.

“In these most unusual times, we are proud to produce a live Race Day show that will translate the tension, emotion and pageantry of Race Day to a global audience,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “Elvis and William are two remarkable individuals whose performance will pay tribute to the heroes on the front lines of our nation’s continued fight against COVID-19. Jim has become part of the ‘500’ fabric with his passion for IMS and INDYCAR, and I know everyone in Indiana and honorary Hoosiers across the globe will shed tears as he hits the high notes of ‘Back Home Again’ on this unique Race Day.”

The Singing Surgeons provided a special tribute to fellow front-line health care workers during the “Indy 500 Special: Back Home Again” broadcast on NBC on Sunday, May 24. They performed “God Bless America” on the historic Yard of Bricks.

As residents at the Mayo Clinic, Francois and Robinson performed for patients for several years, delivering emotional support alongside medical treatment to those in need. Following their viral debut, the pair recorded a special EP, “Music is Medicine,” with proceeds going to the Center of Disaster Philanthropy COVID-19 Response Fund. While both doctors have recently completed their Mayo Clinic residency, the two good friends have stayed in close touch and are eager to reunite at the Racing Capital of the World.

“We’re honored and humbled to perform the national anthem at ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,’” Francois and Robinson said. “IMS is a fantastic venue that fills us with awe every time we visit. While we’re all sad fans won’t be at this year’s race, our performance will carry a message of hope and optimism as we pay tribute to the heroes fighting COVID-19 each and every day.”

Cornelison is known to sports fans as the powerful voice behind “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Chicago Blackhawks’ home games. He first wowed “500” fans and viewers in 2017, generating widespread praise on social media. He is the first “Back Home Again in Indiana” singer in consecutive years since the legendary Jim Nabors appeared for the 36th and final time in 2014.

“It is such an honor and privilege to return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as the Indianapolis 500 is a tradition known around the world,” Cornelison said. “Each year I am humbled by the response from the INDYCAR fans, and I know this year’s performance carries extra meaning under such extraordinary circumstances. I’ll miss the roar of the crowd, but I’ll carry the wonderful fans of IMS with me as I sing. This performance is for them.”

For more than 100 years, the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race presented by Gainbridge has taken place in May in conjunction with Memorial Day. This year’s race was originally scheduled for Sunday, May 24, but was rescheduled to Sunday, Aug. 23, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sunday’s race will be led to the green flag by third-generation driver Marco Andretti, who earned the pole position for the first time in his “500” career. Andretti’s grandfather, legendary 1969 Indy 500 winner Mario Andretti, won the pole three times, the most recent in 1987.

The 33-car field is the second-fastest in Indianapolis 500 history, and it includes eight former “500” winners and five rookies. Rinus VeeKay, 19, of The Netherlands is starting fourth, the best starting position for a teenage driver in the race’s history.

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