The infield section of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course will be repaved this summer ahead of the track's Red Bull Indianapolis GP MotoGP race, scheduled for Aug. 26-28.
The project, which will repave 1.5 miles of the circuit from Turn 5 through Turn 16, will start Thursday, June 9. Turn 5 is where the course leaves the short chute between Turns 1 and 2 of the oval. Turn 16 is where the circuit leaves the infield near the start of the front straightaway at the exit of Turn 4 of the oval.
It's the first time this section of the course has been resurfaced since it was built in 2000. Turns 1 through 4 of the 2.621-mile circuit – located inside Turn 1 of the oval – were created in 2008 for the inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis GP and will not be repaved during this project. The new asphalt will be consistent with the other sections of the course.
"This project is an example of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway providing competitors the finest racing facilities in the world," said Mel Harder, IMS senior vice president, operations. "We had a very long, hard winter this year, which exacerbated the bumps and cracks in this aging section of the track.
"We also decided to undertake this project this year due to feedback from riders during the Red Bull Indianapolis GP last year. The new surface will produce even closer, more exciting racing for the world's best riders and our loyal fans this August."
The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of June.
"I'm happy to hear the infield section is being repaved at Indy," said 2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden, who rides for the Ducati team. "It's already a great track, and I'm sure this will make a smoother, more consistent racetrack for everybody.
"It also shows how the people at IMS pay attention to every detail – that's probably why they've been around over a hundred years. I've always loved it there, as it's my home track. I can't wait to get back to Indy and race in August."