Indy road course work done
Paving of the two new turn complexes of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course is complete, and construction of the entire circuit remains on schedule for the inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Sept. 12-14, 2008.
Paving was finished Nov. 21, and most major phases of the project are now finished, said Kevin Forbes, IMS director of engineering and construction.
“The creek relocation and concealment is finished,” Forbes said. “All of the paving is finished. We have 80 percent of all of the earthwork and grading finished. We have 40 or 45 percent of either relocated or new guardrail installed and have 20 percent of all the fencing completed.” Construction will continue during the winter, with most work completed by May 4, Opening Day for the 92nd Indianapolis 500. The 16-turn circuit will be finished in June or July, Forbes said, at least two months before the first MotoGP event at IMS.
“We had an extremely ambitious, almost unrealistic schedule,” Forbes said. “So we’re right on schedule. Had we developed a schedule that was a lot more realistic, we’d be way ahead of that schedule.
“It really bordered on the unrealistic to expect to have all of the paving done this fall.
And with just a lot of perseverance, determination and great weather, it’s done.” Representatives from the FIM, motorcycle racing’s worldwide sanctioning body, and Dorna, the commercial rights holder for MotoGP, visited IMS on Nov. 27-28 and were impressed by the progress made since their last visit, in August.
“They did a fantastic job,” said Franco Uncini, the 1982 500cc World Champion and MotoGP rider safety representative. “Big improvements. We feel satisfied about the layout, the improvements, everything. We will come back for the final inspection, but for the moment, we feel very, very happy about the layout of the racetrack.” In construction terms, the 8,000 tons of asphalt laid for the new surface is small, but it was no easy task blending the old pavement of the Speedway’s famed 2.5-mile oval – which comprises part of the course – with the pavement used in the infield sections of the road course.
“It’s very delicate surgery,” Forbes said. “It’s like taking an artery and splicing it into another artery because they’ve got to flow perfectly together. You can’t change the oval and affect the characteristics for the two oval events, but on the other hand, to come off the oval onto the road course has to be equally seamless for the road course events.
“That’s where I feel the difficulty in this project lies. It’s not the size of it, but the complexity and the sensitivity to the existing elements are what make this project very unique and tricky.” (More) Page 2 … FIM, MotoGP officials impressed with progress of IMS road course Despite all the changes made to IMS since August, Forbes is excited about revealing the new circuit to the public.
“I think they’re really going to surprise people,” Forbes said. “I think even the long time, die-hard fans will look at this place in the spring and realize just how beautiful this race course is going to become.” Said FIM Safety Director Claude Danis: “We are all very happy and all very excited. All fans of MotoGP and motorcycle racing around the world, they are all talking about Indianapolis.
I think many people will come from Europe and the other countries of the world to see this MotoGP race in Indianapolis.”
*** Red Bull Indianapolis GP tickets: Tickets are on sale for the inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis GP on Sept. 14, 2008.
Tickets can be purchased either online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com at any time; on the phone by calling (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area or (317) 492-6700 locally between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday; or visiting the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Ticket Office on the first floor of the IMS Administration Building at 4790 W. 16th St. in Indianapolis from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
All tickets for this event are three-day tickets, with both reserved and general admission seating available.