Drivers, fans get taste of Speedway’s new Grand Prix track

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Fans, workers, even a few lucky reporters got an up-close look at the new way Indy cars are flying around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Test runs were held on Wednesday for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

Drivers got a feel for the new twists and turns they’ve yet to navigate at the Speedway, and we were lucky enough to ride along with them.

It will be a new experience for everyone heading to the inaugural race this May. That’s because the road course has been reconfigured and there are new places to get close to the action.

“It’s really neat to see the IndyCars out on the road course and utilizing it,” Brian Brown said with excitement.

Racing is in his blood.

“Been coming here since the mid 60s,” he said.

But the view he soaked in on Wednesday was unlike any he’s enjoyed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway before.

“Always loved road racing along with seeing the cars on the ovals,” he said.

Oval tracks are something IMS President Doug Boles knows most local racing fans are accustomed to seeing.

“They’re used to our guys going left and at 230 miles per hour. What they’re going to see here is the cars are going the opposite direction,” Boles said.

To understand the difference between just turning left, 24-Hour News 8 took a tour of our own.

With IndyCar driver Davey Hamilton at the wheel we stormed out the gate, feeling the excitement of every bank, bend, and straightaway sprint.

“They’re going to turn right, they’re going to turn left. They’re going to slow down to 60 miles per hour, high speed of about 200 miles per hour. Lots of accelerating, lots of braking,” said Boles.

Fans might not get to experience my viewpoint, but there are several new spots along the winding course they haven’t tried before.

“We’ve created these spectator mounds that allow a fan to come in with just a GA ticket and move from mound to mound to mound. We’ve got roughly six spectator mound areas throughout the facility, all in the infield and they all give a different view of the track,” Boles said.

“I think it’s important for a fan to come and experience it. And I guarantee you, people are going to walk out of here and go you know what, I’m coming back again in 2015.”

Boles expects 40,000-50,000 people to be at the track for the weekend of the Grand Prix, which starts Thursday, May 8.

Beside the new mounds, new sets of stands were added and some parts of the grandstand will be closed since they don’t offer a good enough view of the track. Spectators will also be allowed to roam the grounds, allowing them to see the race from as many angles as possible.

 

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