Road America released its 2014 schedule today and while there were no real surprises, the dates will provide some clues on availability for a potential IndyCar suitability test.
NASCAR weekend: June 19-21, featuring NASCAR Nationwide Series, Pirelli World Challenge and SCCA Trans-Am. The OPTIMA Batteries street car invitational will be held June 22.
Sports car weekend: August 7-10, TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge
Motorcycle weekend: May 30-June 1, featuring AMA Superbikes
Vintage weekends: May 16-18 (Spring), June 6-8 (Vintage Motorcycles), July 17-20 (The HAWK with Brian Redman), Sept. 12-14 (VSCDA)
IndyCar is off both the NASCAR and sports car weekend, which opens potential race opportunities for any drivers. The likeliest landing point for a test, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Dave Kallmann, is either just before or just after the sports car weekend in August.
IndyCar races at Mid-Ohio on August 3 and at the Milwaukee Mile on August 17. It could make for a great promotional opportunity for a test before the Mile.
Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.
Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.
Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.
A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.
A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.
Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.
Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.