The Herald Bulletin

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Sports Columns

August 21, 2013

Ken de la Bastide: IndyCar to test on IMS road course

There was interesting news last weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that could be a sign that another race could be on tap for the famed oval.

Speedway officials announced that one or two teams competing in the IZOD IndyCar Series will be testing on the IMS road course. The test, which could come as quickly as the first week in September, will be on various course designs.

A new design for the road course is overdue and is reportedly a sticking point for the MotoGP to sign a longer contract with IMS. The changes in the course design would make it more challenging and competitive for all the racers.

The rumor has the series competing on the IMS road course in early May as a prelude to the Indianapolis 500 at the end of the month.

I agree that an IndyCar race on the road course would be beneficial to both the series and IMS. I don’t agree with an early May date for the race. The month of May at IMS means only one thing, the Indianapolis 500. One of, if not the most recognized race in the world. A race on the road course in early May might distract from the 500.

With IMS officials considering moving the sports car race from the NASCAR weekend, it would make more sense to run the IndyCar Series on the same weekend as the Rolex Grand-Am Series.

Either that or run the IndyCars on the same weekend as the MotoGP, which has been signed for another year. Having the IndyCars and motorcycles compete on the same weekend could help attendance and expose fans to different forms of racing.

With the announcement that Juan Pablo Montoya would not return to the Chip Ganassi Sprint Cup team in 2014, I hope that he returns to open wheel racing. He already has an offer from Andretti Autosports, which is willing to field a fifth car in the IZOD IndyCar Series.

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