Indy Car will try to breathe some life into its series outside the Indianapolis 500 with a road course race at the historic Speedway.
First announced last week when it was approved by Indy Car‘s board of directors, plans for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis were laid out by Mark Miles, the CEO of Indy Car owner Hulman and Company, and the Speedway‘s president Doug Boles.
The race will be held Saturday May 10 as part of opening weekend at IMS. The course will have 14 turns, be just under two-and-a-half miles in length, and the cars will run clockwise as opposed to oval racing‘s traditional counterclockwise direction.
Though some Indy 500 traditionalists, like A.J. Foyt, have criticized the idea of road racing at the Speedway, Boles says the late Indy Car champion Dan Wheldon was a major proponent of the idea. Boles says Wheldon advocated such a race after doing some road course test driving in Indianapolis.
Miles says the thought occurred to him during opening weekend this year. “I just had this nagging feeling we could do more.
We could give people a more compelling reason to be here,” Miles said. While Indianapolis 500 race day attendance has remained strong, Miles says they would like to boost it even more, and he hopes the Grand Prix will help. “More people will begin to understand that, sure, we race the Indy Car series on ovals.
But we also race on road courses and street races, and there‘s so much content and so many stories because of the diversity and the talent of our racers.