Organizers hope Grand Prix of Indy starts 'new racing tradition'

Fans ready for another big race at IMS with the Grand Prix of Indianapolis
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A new race experience gets underway at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend.

Organizers hopes it's also the start of a new racing tradition.

The Grand Prix of Indianapolis puts IndyCar on a road course that's a far cry from the famed two and a half mile oval.

'It's going to be a great opportunity to see cars braking really hard, going from 60 mph corners to 200 mph corners,  seeing our drivers turn right and left and watch from spectator mounds instead of seats,' explains IMS president Doug Boles.

Modifications have been made to the track in the past year to accommodate the new race.  Among them, 'spectator mounds' located at turns along the course where fans can sit and see the race up close.

There are also new food options and upgraded concession stands.  The reason for the changes , says Boles,  is to give families an 'experience' and to keep those in the racing industry coming back to Indy.

Ticket sales determine fan interest.  Already more than 40,000 fans are expected for the inaugural race .  What IMS President Doug Boles considers a success.

Drivers are excited as well.  Veteran IndyCar driver Ed Carpenter says 'It's definitely made the month feel it comes a lot faster...which is what the Speedway wanted to build that momentum right out of the gate.'

Practice gets underway Thursday at 11am.    Gates open at 8:45.  Admission Thursday is free.

Parking for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis will be different from the 500.  IMS President Doug Boles says nearly all fan parking, even Thursday and Friday, will be outside the track.  Only vehicles with a parking pass will be able to enter the 16th Street tunnel (Gate 2) or the Georgetown Road tunnel (Gate 7).

Vehicles without a parking pass can enter from the 30th Street gate and park in the north parking lot. There may be limited parking inside the Turn 3 oval and it can be accessed from the 30th Street gate.

If you're heading out to IMS this weekend, Boles is recommending the following places for parking:
  • One of the two lots outside IMS and just south of IMS off 16th Street.
  • The lot outside IMS on the west side of Georgetown behind the front stretch grandstands.
  • On IMS property, north of Turns 3 and 4 just inside the 30th Street entrance (Gate 10).
  • A lot outside IMS at the corner of 30th and Georgetown is also open, but it's slightly farther away.

Parking for Thursday is $5 per vehicle in the outside lots and free in the lot inside the 30th Street entrance (Gate 10).