Ganassi's Riley/BMW No. 02 returns to action with NASCAR stars driving - Anne Proffit photoEnlarge Photo
Three of NASCAR's touring series will compete at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard, with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series on the 2.5-mile oval - the latter for the first time in its 31-year history competing in the Indianapolis area.
NASCAR's Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series have their opportunities to shine on the 2.534-mile, 13-turn interior road course at IMS, which hasn't been used since 2007 when Formula One last came to the Brickyard circuit. With the addition of these Grand-Am races, it marks the first time in track history that IMS has been used in two different configurations on a single race weekend.
For this event, Grand-Am has a robust 109 cars entered for its two Friday races. Because of the logistics involved, this is a single-day event for Grand-Am. The Rolex Series competes in a three-hour Brickyard Grand Prix with the race serving as the grand finale of Grand-Am's North American Endurance Championship presented by www.VISITFLORIDA.com. There are 34 Rolex entries, including 11 Daytona Prototypes and 23 in the production-based GT class. The race is being shown live on Speed TV, beginning at 4PM EDT Friday afternoon.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has seen many different engine combinations over the course of more than 100 years and, with this race will have its first rotary engine cars on the grounds for competition. While the engines that have raced at Indy include the Offenhauser, Novi V-8 and turbine entries, now the distinctive wail of the rotary engine will go into the Indy history books and on its soundtrack.
SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 - Anne Proffit photoEnlarge Photo
In the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge there will be a 75-car field with 38 in the Grand Sport class and 39 in Street Tuner. The Brickyard Sports Car Challenge, as the race is being called, is set for 1PM EDT and airs on August 5 at noon EDT, also on Speed.
As all Grand-Am action is being condensed into a single day, practice and qualifying start at 8AM EDT. The pit road at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be open to fans at noon on Friday for a Fan Walk with competitors from both Grand-Am series available for interaction.