This evening Canadian race promoters, Octane Racing Group, released a picture of the new layout for the IZOD IndyCar race at Edmonton.
The original configuration for the city centre airport circuit has received much criticism since its inception in 2005 (then a Champ Car event). Multiple slow and medium speed corners broke up several all too-short straights, meaning many races at the track became processional affairs.
Having taken over the race in 2009, Octane determined that the circuit map needed to change in order to encourage better races; however difficulties regarding finances, as well as problems regarding runway closures put the future of event in doubt.
Now with the event secured, a thirteen-turn course has been unveiled, to be raced on for the first time later this year. Measuring in at 2.256 miles, the new Edmonton track will contain two long straights (out of turn 13 to turn 1 and from turn 12 to 13), while the section from the first corner to turn 5 will feature a shorter straight dominated by light kinks and quick switches. Turns 6 to 12 are dominated by slower speed corners, no doubt with a view to forcing driver errors.
Along with a simplified ticketing package that allows for greater general admission areas on race day and cheaper three-day sets, the course will be littered with six grandstands and TV towers that are to be placed much closer to the action.
So far, the Firestone Indy Lights Series is the only announced support for the IndyCar race; however it is thought that the weekend program may grow with a greater package to be announced for Friday and Saturday.
The Honda Indy Edmonton will take place from 22nd – 24th of July. Tickets go on sale on Friday.