Mark Miles: Indy road course would be improved

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Continuing to think about using the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course for an IZOD IndyCar Series event in 2014, Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles has said that improvements would be made to the 2.6-mile circuit if such an event comes to fruition.

According to The Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin, Miles isn’t ready yet to commit to the race and has shied away from the idea of tagging it as the season finale. However, he calls the potential event “a solid business venture” and says his organization is willing to put in the money needed to improve the infield section of Indy’s not-so-highly regarded road course, which has hosted Formula One, MotoGP and GRAND-AM (pictured) over the years. The course utilizes Turn 4 and the frontstretch of the Brickyard’s famous oval.

“We will certainly spend money to make improvements, make it a better example of that genre,” Miles said according to Cavin.

Miles also indicated that he’d like to use the potential IMS road race as part of a three-race ending to the season; a three-race “playoff” was one of the suggestions made by Boston Consulting Group earlier this year toward the Hulman-George family on how to raise IndyCar’s profile (although that suggestion did have the IMS road race designated as the season finale).

In particular, Miles would like each of the three races to emphasize the different disciplines of the series — ovals, road courses and street courses — and have more importance overall as well.

“We want to put more points for the championship on those three, we want to have great television coverage, and we want to have more money at stake,” said Miles.

IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama final practice report

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Will Power posted the fastest lap in the third practice session for the Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. with a speed of 122.953 mph.

Rookie Robert Wickens (122.552 mph) was second fast, foretelling a continuation of his incredible rookie season.

Scott Dixon (122.237), Ryan Hunter-Reay (122.231) and Alexander Rossi (122.106) rounded out the top five.

The practice was interrupted several times for incidents. 

Ed Jones spun off track in turn five after locking up his brakes with 30 minutes remaining in practice three. He was able to drive back to the pits under his own power.

With 20 minutes still on the clock, Jordan King took a trip into the fence after posting a fastest lap of 121.753 mph. He sustained substantial left side damage to his car and came back to the pits on the hook.

“I’m annoyed really,” King said afterward on the live stream at IndyCar.com. “I slightly locked the inside front, then just stayed off onto the grass and that was it. But I wasn’t really even pushing that hard.”

With two minutes remaining, Charlie Kimball lost power and pulled off the track, bringing an end to the practice session.

Dixon also had an off-road excursion.