One of the most revered tracks in the world, Road America, has been added to the 2016 IndyCar Series calendar, the open wheel race series has announced. Road America, which opened its doors in 1955, last held a major open wheel event in 2007 when Champ Car raced on the 4.048-mile circuit, but IndyCar president of operations Derrick Walker believes the track will “bring out the best,” in today’s Indy cars.
“It’s truly great news that open-wheel racing will be back at Road America,” Walker said in a prepared statement. “It’s a classic road course: long, with almost every type of challenging corner. The track is designed to make full use of the natural terrain, which makes for great spectator locations to see the Verizon IndyCar Series at its best. In addition, our cars at Road America with aero kits will showcase some very exciting racing for our fans.”
IndyCar says Road America officials have been “overwhelmed,” with requests for them to host an IndyCar race and the track worked hard with the series in order to make it happen. IndyCar raced at the Elkhart Lake, WI, course throughout the 80s, 90s and 2000s, with Hector Rebqaue winning the series’ first ever race there in 1982. Currently, just 10 IndyCar drivers have raced on the track, including KV Racing Technology driver Sebastien Bourdais, who won the last IndyCar race at Road America in 2007.
“I am really excited to see Road America back on the 2016 Indy car schedule,” said four-time champ Bourdais. “This place allows our cars to stretch their legs fully and show what the Verizon IndyCar Series is all about. It is our duty toward road racing to continue this tradition and I could not be happier that a new deal got penciled. For me, it is the best racetrack in North America and I have some great memories there, including the win in 2007, and I am looking forward to coming back.”
Road America is the seventh 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series event to be confirmed for the 2016 schedule. Other races include the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, the 100th Running of the Indianapolis, the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix and the Grand Prix of Boston.