SPEEDWAY, Ind. — When Roger Penske bought the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in early 2020, he floated the idea of bringing the IMSA WeatherTech SportCar Series back to the iconic track.
Today, he’s made good on those plans.
For the weekend of September 15-17, 2023, the IMSA WeatherTech SportCar Series will invade the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the “IMSA Battle of the Bricks”, a two-hour, 40-minute race being the main event on Sunday of that weekend.
“Our manufacturers want to compete here,” said IMSA president John Doonan. “We have eighteen manufacturers in IMSA competition. What I’m most excited about … is seeing this infield packed with camping families. We’re going to pack this place.”
For the first time, IMS plans to open the infield for camping during the weekend, which is something that has never been done before. They also plan to run some support races which will include some night racing for the very first time at IMS.
The Michelin Pilot Challenge will run a four-hour race the Saturday prior to the IMSA race on Sunday, which will include an evening start and racing into the night.
IMS President Doug Boles says they won’t need to add much lighting for the night racing aspect of the weekend.
“We did have a test here last fall where he had a couple of sports cars running at night,” Boles said. “Really, with our video boards this place lights up really, really well. We almost don’t need to add any more lights for sports car racing.”
Boles said they will add some temporary lighting in some places around the road course.
Boles and Doonan said this inaugural event will serve as a starting point in building it into a longer race. They said there is a plan to work up to an eight-hour race by 2025.