IndyCar confident Indianapolis road course race would get support
|By Mark Glendenning||Thursday, September 5th 2013, 14:01 GMT|
Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Doug Boles is confident that IndyCar's support base in Indianapolis would be big enough to make a race on the famed venue's road course worthwhile.
Graham Rahal and Ryan Briscoe tested at the venue on Wednesday to help the Speedway and the series gather information about the track, which is being considered as an addition to the IndyCar calendar as soon as next year.
Initial reactions to the idea from some drivers have been mixed, but Boles believes that an event on the road course could be a great success.
"I think everybody at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the whole organisation is excited about the prospects," he said.
"Otherwise we wouldn't be having this test. We have a great facility right here in the middle of Indianapolis, and many of the teams are based here.
"Even if we were using it for testing throughout the season, it would be nice to have, but we certainly think we have a big fanbase here in Indianapolis and people love to see these cars run.
"Yes, it's a break from tradition, not running in the oval direction, but that's why we're here.
"We're excited and we're hearing great things from the drivers, which is even better, and that's the next step in deciding how we use the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course."
NO BIG CHANGES PLANNED
IndyCar president of competition and operations Derrick Walker said that the combination of feedback from the test and lessons learned from previous events on the road course, particularly its era as host of Formula 1's United States Grand Prix, could be used to help improve the circuit.
But he does not believe that significant modifications would be needed for it to produce good racing.
"There are a number of ideas to improve overtaking and making the racing more interesting perhaps than it was during the Formula 1 days," he said.
"I'm not sure the Speedway needs to make monster changes. There could be some alterations that would improve the racing short-term, and then I think if the fans come, you keep doing more and keep doing more.
"I think you could develop a really unique racetrack out of the infield."