The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC board of directors Sept. 26 approved an IZOD IndyCar Series race for May 2014 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
The race will be contested on the opening weekend of Month of May activities at IMS leading into the 98th Indianapolis 500 on May 25. It will be the first time the series has competed on the Speedway road course, which will undergo reconfiguration this fall and next spring to create more passing zones and fan-friendly vantage points.
“This event will bring even more energy and action to the Month of May for fans and create another showcase for the diversity and excitement of the Speedway and the IndyCar Series,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., the parent of INDYCAR. “The new road race will further enhance the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the premier motorsports destination in the world and direct an even brighter spotlight on the Indianapolis 500.”
Additional details about the event, reconfigured road course and other plans for the Month of May will be announced at a media event Oct. 1 at IMS.
“I think the road race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will add to the excitement surrounding the Month of May in Indianapolis," team owner Roger Penske said. "I am encouraged that the leadership at IMS and INDYCAR is exploring new opportunities to help elevate our sport.
"I have been coming to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway since 1951 and I have tremendous respect for the history and the heritage of this special facility. As someone who has been fortunate enough to win the Indy 500 and the inaugural Nationwide Series race at Indy, I can tell you that it would be great to win that first IndyCar race on the road course.”
The sentiment was echoed by IZOD IndyCar Series driver Graham Rahal, who joined Ryan Briscoe in testing on multiple configurations of the road course earlier this month. Rahal's father won the Indianapolis 500 in 1986.
"When I did the test I loved it," said Rahal of the road course that is currently used for GRAND-AM and MotoGP events. "I think it will present a great opportunity for us as a series to put on a great show. I think it presents itself as a different opportunity than the '500' and that's the biggest thing."