Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Street Race in Indy Proposed

Corvette GTP on the streets of Columbus, Ohio
But it never happened. Oh how I wish it had.

Back in the 1980's when IMSA was racing in the streets of Columbus, Ohio with the Camel GT series, there was discussion about conducting a similar race here in Indianapolis. This was before the Indianapolis Motor Speedway had an infield road course and before NASCAR came to town, so it seemed like a good idea that never got wings. I'm sure the Hulman family would have been against it. Those of us who remember downtown Indianapolis in the 1980's, however, will recall that Circle Center Mall was just a series of full block holes in the ground, Union Station had just re-opened after renovation, the Hoosier Dome was nearly new and other than the Colts coming to town in 1984, there wasn't a lot to crow about for our fair city.

Ever since then, I have wondered what a street race course in Indianapolis might look like. Comparatively speaking, Indy's downtown is doing much better today than 30 years ago and I'm sure the merchants, city fathers and others would never support a street race now, but can you imagine having the Indycar Grand Prix of Indianapolis downtown now? What about the TUDOR United Sports Car Series? Formula 1 would never do it and we couldn't afford Bernie's ransom anyway, so that's out of the question. But we have all the hotels we need right downtown today, the racers could go past our fabulous Eiteljorg Museum, downtown zoo, Lucas Oil Stadium, Victory Field and the Mall, while the Convention Center would be an ideal location for the paddock and a motorsports trade show during the event weekend.

If I were to design an Indy street course, it would look like this; they would run counter-clockwise. My racing photography season is over now so naturally I had to do something to keep myself entertained! Some people ask "Why?" I ask, "Why not?"

Indianapolis Grand Prix street course circuit

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