NOLA marks IndyCar’s first race visit to a new permanent circuit in five years


This week’s trip to NOLA Motorsports Park marks a rarity for the Verizon IndyCar Series: it’s the series’ first trip to a new permanent road course, for a race, in five years.

In 2010, IndyCar made its maiden voyage to Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., and the event has quickly become a staple on the calendar every April.

Now, this year, the Andretti Sports Marketing-promoted Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana joins the calendar (2:30 p.m. ET, Sunday, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra).

NOLA and Barber are both Alan Wilson-designed tracks, and both have witnessed a bevy of testing prior to the race introduction. Here’s a lap of the NOLA Motorsports Park circuit, from a single camera shot, shot during testing.

IndyCar has had other inaugural or revived events in the intervening five years since Barber joined the calendar, but those have been at street circuits or at tracks where the series has raced previously.

Twice in the last five years, IndyCar has added a road course race on a traditional oval circuit. Last year marked IndyCar’s first Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, to complement the Indianapolis 500 and expand the month of May. IndyCar also made a one-time appearance on the Twin Ring Motegi road course in 2011 following earthquake and tsunami damage to the oval.

Last year’s Grand Prix of Indianapolis at the IMS road course marked the only inaugural race with the new Dallara DW12 chassis in the car’s three years of service before the introduction of manufacturer aero kits. Races at Pocono, Houston, Detroit and Fontana were all revived in either 2013 or 2012.

Here’s a quick rundown of past inaugural events and past revived races in the last five years, since Barber 2010:


  • 2014: Grand Prix of Indianapolis, IMS road course (Win: Simon Pagenaud, Pole: Sebastian Saavedra)
  • 2011: Grand Prix of Baltimore, streets of Baltimore (Win: Will Power, Pole: Will Power)
  • 2011: Indy Japan: The Final, Motegi road course, shifted from oval (Win: Scott Dixon, Pole: Scott Dixon)
  • 2010: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, Barber Motorsports Park (Win: Helio Castroneves, Pole: Will Power)
  • 2010: Sao Paulo Indy 300, streets of Sao Paulo, new circuit, and first Brazil race since 2000 CART (Win: Will Power, Pole: Dario Franchitti)


  • 2013: Pocono Indy 400, Pocono Raceway, first Pocono race since 1989 CART (Win: Scott Dixon, Pole: Marco Andretti)
  • 2013: Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston (doubleheader), first Houston races since 2007 Champ Car (Wins: Scott Dixon, Will Power, Poles: Takuma Sato, Helio Castroneves)
  • 2012: Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, first Detroit race since 2008 IndyCar (Win: Scott Dixon, Pole: Scott Dixon)
  • 2012: MAVTV 500, first Auto Club Speedway race since 2005 IndyCar (Win: Ed Carpenter, Pole: Marco Andretti)
  • 2011: 225, first Loudon race since 1998 IndyCar (Win: Ryan Hunter-Reay, Pole: Dario Franchitti)
  • 2011: Las Vegas Indy World Championships, first Las Vegas race since 2005 Champ Car (Race canceled; Pole: Tony Kanaan)

NTT re-signs as IndyCar title sponsor in multiyear deal starting with the 2024 season

James Black/Penske Entertainment

The IndyCar Series has re-signed NTT as its title sponsor in a multiyear agreement starting in 2024.

NTT, a global information technology and communications company based in Japan, became the series’ title sponsor before the 2019 season after starting as a sponsor of the No. 10 Dallara-Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing.

NTT Data (a subsidiary of parent company Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp.) will remain the official technology partner of IndyCar, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indy 500 and the NASCAR Brickyard weekend.

With the extension, an IndyCar spokesman said NTT would become the second-longest title sponsor in series history. The longest title sponsor was PPG from 1980-97 (under the CART sanction of the Champ Car Series).

NTT replaced Verizon, which was IndyCar’s title sponsor from 2014-18 after IZOD from 2010-13.

“NTT is an excellent partner across our enterprise with strong expertise and a deep commitment to our sport,” Penske Corp. chairman and IndyCar owner Roger Penske said in a release. “From Smart Venue technology at the Racing Capital of the World to the reimagined Series mobile application, NTT is transforming the fan experience in new and innovative ways. We look forward to a bright future together.”

NTT has used artificial intelligence-enabled optical detection technology at IMS to provide information to the track’s operations and security teams, helping improve fan traffic flow and safety, the track said.

“IndyCar is a great partner for NTT Data because of our shared commitment to driving innovation, increasing sustainability and delivering amazing experiences,” NTT Data CEO Kaz Nishihata said in a release. “We also appreciate how IndyCar is so diverse, with drivers from 15 different countries, and races that range from short ovals and superspeedways to road and street courses. It’s both an incredible sport and a wonderful example for our world.”

NTT also has been instrumental in helping redesign the IndyCar app and providing more race and driver data for use in NBC Sports’ broadcasts by utilizing 140 data points from every car in the field.

“NTT is fully invested in the development and growth of our sport and has already established a terrific track record in our industry with problem-solving capabilities and access to top talent and tools,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said.

Said NTT Data Services CEO Bob Pryor: “We’re thrilled to continue our collaborations that enhance and expand the fan experience for motorsports and serve as proof points for data analytics, AI, and other innovative digital technologies. For more than a century, this racing series has pioneered innovations making driving safer for everyone, and by continuing this relationship, we will accelerate the pace of innovations and new technologies, particularly related to sustainability that ultimately can benefit organizations, communities and individuals around the world.”

Starting as a Japanese telephone company, NTT grew into a $100 billion-plus tech services giant with U.S. operations based in Plano, Texas.