F1 raced at Indianapolis between 2000 and 2007 on a road course which incorporated part of the oval track. An IndyCar race will be held on the road course as part of the build-up to next year’s Indianapolis 500 on the superspeedway oval.
“One of the key ingredients to make this work was the improvement of the road course,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman and Company who own the track. “It had a lot of history with Formula One racing, but our sense was that it, too, could be a better platform for our racing. And so a lot of work has been done.”
As with the version used for F1, IndyCar will race clockwise around the layout, opposite to the direction used on the oval. The IndyCar road track omits the very slow double hairpin used on the F1 course and also incorporates part of the circuit which is used for Moto GP races.
“What we have here are three fantastic passing zones on our racetrack and an outstanding chicane that we believe will be absolutely wonderful for our fans to watch,” said Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Douglas Boles.
“We’re not only going to make the track experience better, we’re going to make it a lot easier for our fans to enjoy it. So the mounds that you see in the seven-eight-nine complex are there now, but they’re going to be bigger, taller and wider so we can accommodate more fans.
“The five-six chicane complex is going to get the same makeover with the mounds there. The mounds at turn one will remain the same, but between two and three we’re adding a brand-new mound there for fans to be able to see the racetrack one, two and three, and looking off the opposite side you’ll be able to see four, five and six of the road course.”
Miles said the road course race had been added to introduce long-standing fans of the Indianapolis 500 to IndyCar’s non-oval racing. “To us the story is we can do more to expose Indianapolis people, Hoosiers, and fans of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to IndyCar, and that’s a really important objective for us,” he said.
“More people will begin to understand that sure, we race the IndyCar 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.”
Among the drivers to compete on the next year will be former F1 driver Juan Pablo Montoya, who won the 2000 Indianapolis 500.
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