UPDATED, 4:00 p.m. ET: It’s official. The inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana will run April 10-12, 2015.
The event will be held April 10-12 and organized by Andretti Sports Marketing on a newly-configured 13-turn, 2.67-mile permanent road course layout.
The Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana will feature a three-day festival combining Louisiana’s culture – including live musical acts, entertainment and local cuisine – with the excitement of a Verizon IndyCar Series event.
“We’re delighted about the opportunity to showcase the Verizon IndyCar Series at NOLA Motorsports Park and to INDYCAR fans in the greater New Orleans area,” Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., the parent of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, said in a release. “The commitment from track owner Laney Chouest and his associates, combined with the support we received from the state of Louisiana, was the catalyst in making this come to fruition. New Orleans has a history of hosting successful major sporting events and we’re thrilled to be able to add the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana to the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule.”
10:45 a.m. ET: The Verizon IndyCar Series will have at least one new domestic race on its 2015 race schedule. The inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana, which was tentatively announced earlier this year, will be officially confirmed later Wednesday at 3:15 p.m. CT at a press conference at the NOLA Motorsports Park track.
The date is expected to be April 12, revealed earlier Wednesday in an Associated Press report. A source confirmed that date on condition of anonymity as it had not been publicly revealed.
Those scheduled to be in attendance include President of the Louisiana State Senate, State Senator – John A. Alario, Jr., Jefferson Parish President – John F. Young, Jr., President of NOLA Motorsports Park & NOLA Motor Host Committee, Inc. – Kristen Engeron, NOLA Motorsports Park Founder and Owner- Laney Chouest, CEO, Hulman & Company – Mark Miles and Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana General Manager – Tim Ramsberger, plus other Andretti Sports Marketing officials.
Ramsberger, the former Grand Prix of St. Petersburg president, joined Andretti Sports Marketing last month.
Andretti Sports Marketing has promoted the Milwaukee IndyFest race for three years since 2012, and New Orleans replaces Baltimore as the second IndyCar race it will promote (Baltimore ended in 2013).
As for what this does to the 2015 schedule projection, IndyCar will now either open with four domestic races in as many weekends, or run three in a row in April before a single off weekend.
It all depends on the Barber Motorsports Park date in Birmingham, Ala., which has not yet been revealed.
It will either go: March 29 St. Petersburg, April 5 Barber, April 12 NOLA, April 19 Long Beach, or, March 29 St. Petersburg, off weekend, April 12 NOLA, April 19 Long Beach, April 26 Barber.
This year, March 30 was the St. Petersburg date, followed by an off weekend before Long Beach April 13 and another off weekend before Barber April 27.
The Grand Prix of Indianapolis is scheduled for Saturday, May 9, to kick off the month in Indianapolis. Teams are expected to have a weekend off before the GPI weekend.