GRAND-AM Road Racing has added a long-anticipated Indianapolis Motor Speedway date to its 2012 schedules for both the Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16 and the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, with races set for Friday, July 27 on IMS’ road course.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway is giving its popular Brickyard 400 weekend an innovative and exciting makeover starting next season and GRAND-AM will play a huge role, in what will be called the “Super Weekend at the Brickyard,” on July 26-29.
In addition to GRAND-AM’s two series, there will be a third series making its IMS debut – the NASCAR Nationwide Series on July 28. The weekend’s marquee event, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ Brickyard 400 on July 29, will have ample support to say the least.
“GRAND-AM is an organization on the move and this announcement personifies that fact,” said GRAND-AM President Tom Bledsoe. “This is a great, great day for GRAND-AM and for sports car racing in North America.
“We have been negotiating with our good friends at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for awhile to make this happen, while also working in concert with our parent organization, NASCAR, to put together the most attractive event possible.
“GRAND-AM has the finest sports car racing in North America, and we’re proud that we’ll be able to showcase the racing at Indy.”
It will be the first time in IMS history that races will take place on the 2.5-mile oval and 2.605-mile, 13-turn Grand Prix road course during the same weekend. The detailed one-day schedule for GRAND-AM has yet to be finalized, including the respective lengths of the two races.
“The Super Weekend at the Brickyard will offer non-stop excitement for every auto racing fan with the addition of the NASCAR Nationwide Series and GRAND-AM Road Racing,” said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and CEO. “There will be competitive, fender-rubbing action from many different types of machinery for four days, featuring established stars and rising talents, on both the IMS oval and road course.”
“This will be an unforgettable event and the start of a great new racing tradition at the Speedway.”
For many GRAND-AM drivers, such as reigning and three-time Rolex Series Daytona Prototype champion Scott Pruett of the Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates organization, this new event affords a racing return to the Brickyard. Two years ago, GRAND-AM tested at IMS, fueling speculation about a possible future event.
Pruett has raced in the Indianapolis 500 four times, with a best finish of 10th back in 1989. After a move from open-wheel to NASCAR, he ran the Brickyard 400 twice, finishing 10th in 2000.
“This is huge for the sport, for our team and it’s huge for me personally,” said Pruett.
“When we had the opportunity to go and test at Indy in 2009, it was incredible to go back. After racing Indy Cars and NASCAR stock cars at Indianapolis, now to get the opportunity to go there with GRAND-AM …it’s one of those absolute pinnacles of racing.”
Rolex Series regular David Donohue’s father, the legendary Mark Donohue, won the Indianapolis 500 in 1972. David raced at IMS in the Porsche Supercup series in 2001, finishing eighth in two races.
“Indianapolis Motor Speedway is such an iconic race track,” Donohue said. “It’s one of those places where there’s an electricity when you step on the grounds. Going to race there with GRAND-AM is a long-time dream, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to realize that dream.”
Ticket orders for the 2012 Super Weekend at the Brickyard will be accepted starting Monday, Aug. 1, 2011. Orders can be made at www.imstix.com and through the IMS Ticket Office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, or by visiting the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.
General admission tickets will cost $10 for Thursday, July 26, $30 for Friday, July 27, $40 for Saturday, July 28 and $30 for Sunday, July 29. Four-day general admission tickets are $75. Children ages 12-and-under will be admitted free any of the four days when accompanied by an adult with a general admission ticket.