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Work begins at Indianapolis for MotoGP arrival

Work begins at Indianapolis for MotoGP arrival

Work has begun on the road course set to be used for the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, the newest addition to the MotoGP calendar that was announced last month at the historic circuit.

Work has begun on the road course set to be used for the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, the newest addition to the MotoGP calendar that was announced last month at the historic circuit.

Construction of the new, 2.601-mile track, which will avoid the banked sections used in car racing, started at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 30th, the day after the Allstate 400. IMS officials plan to have all construction completed by Opening Day for the 92nd Indianapolis 500 in early May 2008, with the current work being undertaken on two sites in the infield.

"Our motorcycle event is Sept. 14, 2008, and we have a little event called the Indy 500 in May and you really can't work on anything in May," said Joie Chitwood, IMS president and chief operating officer in an official announcement on August 1st. "The goal is to get it done as soon as possible so that we're prepared for May for the Indy 500 and our other events."

Catch fencing and viewing mounds are being removed from inside Turn 1 of the world-famous oval to build a new, four-turn section for MotoGP's arrival. Dry Run Creek, which runs inside Turn 1, will be re-routed and filled to accommodate the new section. Behind the IMS Hall of Fame Museum, a new, faster S-curve complex is being built.

Kevin Forbes, IMS director of engineering and construction, has been put in charge of overseeing the project, and is clear about when the donkey work has to be undertaken.

"I think we'll see the majority of the completion occur by the end of October," he said. "Really, the weather has to be conducive to racetrack paving, and that typically means warm temperatures. So we really need to get the majority of this done by October. I think we would probably be ready to test a motorcycle here, at speed, probably sometime in July 2008."

"This really isn't a massive project, but it's a very, very delicate project," he added. "We have to maintain this facility. This facility is operational basically 364 days a year, and we like to keep a nice home. We like to keep it neat and tidy for all the guests that we have year-round."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007

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