Ever since the road course was constructed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the U.S. Grand Prix, I had envisioned sports cars tackling the famed Brickyard.
My hopes were raised when the Rolex Grand Am Series tested at IMS a few years ago and everyone was speculating on when a race would be scheduled.
The Grand Am Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series will be a part of the Super Weekend at Indy with the Nationwide and Sprint Cup series of NASCAR on the weekend of July 27-29.
There were more than 100 sports cars at IMS this past weekend for a test session and officials are estimating more than 120 cars to be competing in the inaugural event.
The sports cars bring a distinctive sound to IMS. There was the high pitched whine of the Daytona Prototype cars and the throaty roar of American muscle in the form of Corvettes, Camaros, Mustangs, and a Dodge Viper.
That’s not to mention the marquee car makers from Europe and Asia with BMW, Ferrari, Mazda, and Audi all taking to the 2.534-mile road course.
Names familiar to Indy 500 fans will be competing in the Grand Am race. Juan Pablo Montoya, Paul Tracy, Scott Pruett, and Eliseo Salazar are all entered.
Alex Gurney, son of former Indy 500 driver and winning car owner, Dan, will be competing along with David Donahue, the son of 1972 Indy 500 winner Mark, will be competing in the Daytona Prototype class.
The sports cars are bringing a stellar field of drivers including Memo Rojas, Max Angelelli, Jon Fogerty, Boris Said, Wayne and Joe Nonnamaker, Patrick Dempsey, and Andy Lally, to name just a few.
I hope this is just the first in a long line of annual races for the two sports car series at IMS. Fans attending may want to find a comfortable seat along the infield road course to watch action in the corners.
In other racing news: Just when the IZOD IndyCar Series needed an American driver to make headlines and garner attention, Ryan Hunter-Reay has stepped in to fill the void.
Driving for Andretti Autosport, Hunter-Reay has won three consecutive races and has vaulted himself into the point’s lead over Will Power.
Born in California and now living in Florida, Hunter-Reay, 31, has an All-American background advancing to the IndyCar series throuh karts, the Formula Dodge series, Toyota Atlantics, Grand-Am, and being named Rookie of the Year at the Indianapolis 500 in 2008.
Right now he’s outshining teammates Marco Andretti and James Hinchcliffe.
— The two-car dance routine that has become NASCAR racing at the restrictor plate tracks at Daytona and Talladega has to come to an end. The Nationwide and Sprint Cup races at Daytona the past weekend were nothing more than a demolition derby with team owners out plenty of money in wrecked equipment.
— Ken de la Bastide is the Kokomo Tribune enterprise editor. He can be reached at 765- 454-8580 or via e-mail at email@example.com.