In preparing the 2015 season schedule, series organizers have announced the addition of the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana to be held next April 10-12. The race will be contested on the new NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, 14 miles southwest of downtown New Orleans. The 13-turn, 2.67-mile road course held an Indy Lights race earlier this year, but stepping up to the big leagues on the same weekend as the French Quarter Festival is sure to make the race a big draw.
Preparations for the event will include a $4.5-million investment on the part of the state government and a reconfiguration of the track with input from three-time Indy race winner and former rookie of the year James Hinchcliffe and open-wheel racing scion Graham Rahal. Andretti will be responsible for promoting the event.
The rest of the schedule has yet to be confirmed, but we already know that the Grand Prix of Houston, held for the past two years on a temporary street circuit at NRG Park, will not return next season, meaning that the NOLA race will effectively take its place. Once the full schedule is announced, we're expecting new races to be included in overseas locations such as Dubai and Brazil, expanding on this year's calendar that only included races in North America (seventeen in the US and one in Toronto).
Verizon IndyCar Series Heads to New Orleans in April
NEW ORLEANS (August 27, 2014) – The inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana will take place April 10 – 12, 2015, at NOLA Motorsports Park in Jefferson Parish, LA. A three-day racing festival showcasing the culture, music and food of Louisiana, the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana is part of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series.
"The Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana is the next big tourism win for the State of Louisiana," Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne said. "Race fans are passionate about their rapidly-growing sport. Once they experience our authentic culture, food and music during this professional IndyCar event, we're sure they will fall in love with Louisiana."
The Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana would like to welcome Verizon Wireless as a sponsor of the event and thank them for their support of the Verizon IndyCar Series.Additionally, the New Orleans Advocate joins the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana as the official newspaper and Champion of the Community sponsor and the inaugural Louisiana-owned sponsor of the event.2015 is the first year in a three-year commitment by the Verizon IndyCar Series to host the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana at NOLA Motorsports Park. Located in Avondale, LA, NOLA Motorsports Park is 14 miles southwest of downtown, New Orleans.
"We are extremely excited to launch another historic first-ever race for IndyCar at NOLA Motorsports Park," said Tim Ramsberger, General Manager for the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana. "The park is a tremendous setting with all the right elements to serve as the fastest and most exciting adrenaline-filled party in the New Orleans area. I think this event will set a new standard for IndyCar racing." Previously, Ramsberger served as the founding President of the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, now in its 10th year.
The NOLA Motorsports Park opened to the public in 2011. Founded and owned by Dr. Laney Chouest, the park will soon have the potential to accommodate Verizon IndyCar Series spectators thanks to a Public/Private partnership with The State of Louisiana. "The State of Louisiana understands the economic and cultural potential of this annual event. Track operations are already underway to transform NOLA Motorsports Park into a 13 Turn, 2.67-mile Verizon IndyCar Series circuit, complete with the state-of-the-art equipment, grandstands and viewing platforms racing fans need for a truly enjoyable experience," he said.
The Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana is governed by the NOLA Motor Host Committee, Inc. Kristen Engeron, President of the Committee and of NOLA Motorsports Park, predicts a robust interest in the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana, both regionally and nationally. "The New Orleans area is known as a destination for spectacular sporting and special events," she said. "We are confident that the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana will become another 'don't miss' Louisiana event along the with Jazz Fest, Essence Fest, Zurich Classic, Super Bowl, NCAA Final Four and Wrestlemania," she said.
"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 Hulman & Company, the parent of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "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."
The 2015 Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana takes place Friday, April 10, Saturday, April 11 and Sunday, April 12, 2015 at NOLA Motorsports Park, www.nolamotor.com. Presale ticketing and previews will begin in late October for individuals who join the mailing list at http://www.GPofNOLA.com. Tickets will go on sale to the general public in November 2014. Sponsors and others interested in hospitality partnerships should contact David Goldwater with Andretti Sports Marketing(678) 6021661. Learn more at www.GPofNOLA.com.
Stay up to date with the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana; please follow @GPofNOLA on Twitter or like Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana on Facebook.