The long-discussed IndyCar Series road course race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to open the month of May has officially been given approval by the Hulman & Co. board of directors.
The result of Thursday's vote hasn't been disclosed but it does allow for IMS and the IndyCar Series to formally move forward in their plans to host a race to kick-off Indianapolis 500 festivities next season.
The event will take place on May 8-10.
"This event will bring even more energy and action to the month of May for fans and create another showcase for the diversity and excitement of the Speedway and the IndyCar Series," Hulman & Co. Chief Executive Officer Mark Miles said in a statement. "The new road race will further enhance the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the premier motor sports destination in the world and direct an even brighter spotlight on the Indianapolis 500."
All three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy program, including Firestone Indy Lights, Pro Mazda and USF2000 are expected to join the IndyCar Series at the Speedway. Lights is also expected to retain its Freedom 100 race on the oval during Carb Day as well.
Now that the race has been approved, IndyCar and IMS are expected to announce changes to the circuit itself.
The road course at IMS hasn't hosted an open-wheel event since the 2007 Formula 1 Grand Prix at Indianapolis and track officials are hoping to make adjustments to improve the racing product, which was widely panned during F1's tenure at the facility.
Cars driven by Graham Rahal and Ryan Briscoe tested on several track configurations during a Sept. 4 test. The drivers also went both directions to determine the most compatible options for an IndyCar race.
Does the possibility of a second race at IMS excite you or does it take away from the Indianapolis 500? Tell us in the comments section below.