It will be the first IMSA sports car race at the Speedway since 2014 and the first standalone IMSA weekend at the track ever.
IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Roger Penske has made no secret about wanting to bring the IMSA sports car series to his marquee track since he purchased the venue. Next year, that dream will become a reality.
The September 17th race will not be the endurance race Penske had hoped for, however. The series will instead start with a 2 hour, 40 minute sprint race. That will allow teams to conserve some of the expenses related to a longer race in at least the event’s first year, although the race could become an endurance event in the near future.
While an eight-hour GT3 race and a short-lived Grand-Am race supporting NASCAR have both graced Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the past, this is the first time in the history of the Speedway that American sports car racing’s unquestioned top level will have a weekend a the track to itself. It will also mark the debut of the new LMDh-based GTP category at IMS, not coincidentally a class that will be headlined by track owner Roger Penske’s two factory-backed Porsche 963s. The race weekend will also feature support from the Michelin Pilot Challenge series and other single-make categories sanctioned by IMSA.
Indianapolis will not be the only new track in to host IMSA-sanctioned sports car racing next year. Although it is not yet clear whether or not IMSA’s top class will head to the street circuit, NASCAR has already announced that at least one IMSA-sanctioned category will race at the new Chicago street circuit being designed for stock car racing. Details on that event are expected to come in the next month.