The IndyCar Series will stage a round of the 2015 championship season in Louisiana, with circuit and state officials confirmed the widely anticipated news overnight.
The inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana will take place on April 10-12 at the NOLA Motorsports Park, using the facility’s purpose-built 2.67-mile 13-turn ‘North’ circuit. The venue is located about 14 miles southwest of downtown New Orleans. The track layout was designed in consultation with IndyCar drivers James Hinchcliffe and Graham Rahal.
The event will feature a three-day festival combining Louisiana’s famous culture, including live music acts, trackside entertainment and local cuisine to compliment the French Quarter Festival being held in and around New Orleans at the same time.
“We’re delighted about the opportunity to showcase the Verizon IndyCar Series at NOLA Motorsports Park and to INDYCAR fans in the greater New Orleans area,” said Mark Miles, CEO of IndyCar’s parent company, Hulman & Co.
“The commitment from track owner Laney Chouest and his associates, combined with the support we received from the state of Louisiana, was the catalyst in making this come to fruition. New Orleans has a history of hosting successful major sporting events and we’re thrilled to be able to add the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana to the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule.”
We reported earlier this year that the Louisiana state government had committed $4.5 million into making the necessary upgrades to the circuit to meet the IndyCar Series’ standards with a view to joining the calendar.
“Track operations are currently underway to transform NOLA Motorsports Park into a Verizon IndyCar Series circuit, complete with state-of-the-art equipment, grandstands and viewing platforms racing fans need for a truly enjoyable experience,” NOLA Motorsports Park owner Laney Chouest added.
Next year’s calendar looks set to venture beyond the North American shores. Rumours are afoot that the championship will return to Brazil after a on-year absence, with Brasília’s Autódromo Internacional Nelson Piquet slated for an early March calendar slot.
Another new venue in the mix is the Emirati state of Dubai, which could kick off the season in mid-February.
Images via NOLA Motorsports Park