(Indianapolis, IN) - May is upon us in Indiana with the festivities for the Indy 500 about to get underway.
The inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis will be a week from Saturday and will feature a road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
First practice sessions for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing are May 11th.
Open testing on the course took place Wednesday, just over a week before qualifying takes place for the first road course race at the Speedway that's part of the Verizon Indy Car Series.
The 25 drivers entered in the race took turns on the 2.4 mile course that features 14 turns. Only two portions of the oval that Indy 500 fans are used to seeing are part of the road course - a section of the track between turns one and two and most of the front stretch.
The infield part of the track is still practically brand new; the asphalt went down in December, just months after the race was announced.
The cars will also run clockwise on the road course, the opposite of oval races.
"Driving the car it doesn't feel strange because you're focused on hitting your marks. But every time I'm on pit lane and looking at the cars going out it just doesn't look right," said driver Ryan Briscoe.
The drivers and teams will give feedback to Speedway president Doug Boles, who says any last minute changes to the track will follow. The track will have to immediately convert back to an oval after the May 10th Grand Prix, since Indy 500 qualifying will be held the following Sunday, May 18.
The road course at IMS will host two more races this year - the Moto GP and the Tudor United SportsCar Championship.
For tickets and more information visit www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com.
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