When the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana starts its initial run April 10-12 at NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, it will have a unique feature.
Fans will be able to see the action on every part of the road course.
Andretti Sports Marketing chief executive and former driver Michael Andretti said the Avondale course is the only one in the IndyCar series that has such visibility.
“That’s ... unique, and it’s going to be great for fans,” he said at an event that launched ticket sales for the race. They’ll be able to see all the action in every corner through the whole race.”
Andretti said that was not the only factor that went into picking the venue.
“One is, you need a facility that we have here. We have a great facility that Lanny (Chouest, owner) has. Two, you have to look at where would our sponsors like to go?” he said. “Where would they like to bring customers and things like that to entertain. That’s a big one. That’s one thing I think really drew us to New Orleans was that. We ran it past a lot of our sponsors, and they got very excited when they heard about the possibility. That was a big thing.”
Andretti said efforts to bring a race to the New Orleans area started two years ago, and one thing he has noticed is the good support from the community.
“Also, you look at how much support will there be locally from the community. That’s where this race has gone above and beyond. There’s a ton of support. I think those are things that are really going to make this race a success and hopefully be on the schedule for many, many more years beyond the three-year contract.”
Andretti also drew on his own experience as a driver, which has been helpful in selecting a racing venue.
“You want to look at the racetrack, obviously,” Andretti said. “You want to still be able to put on a good show. They made some changes to the track that’s going to open it up to more passing, which will be better for the fans.”
IndyCar driver Will Power won the championship for the 2014 season. Power amassed 671 points. Second-place finisher Helio Castroneves had 609. Power had three wins, while Castroneves had two.
One thing that Power liked was that the track is great for both the fans and drivers.
“I think the fact you’ve got a road course where you can see the whole track from any point on the circuit, any grandstand, that’s a great asset, honestly,” Power said. “I think it’s going to be great for the fans. It’s also a super-fast track, a real driver’s track. It’s going to be pretty high speeds and a lot of passing, a lot of action, which is another great asset for a road course.”
The key to a great track is that both the drivers and fans are able to keep a strong interest in the race.
“From a driver’s perspective, it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Power said “From a fan’s perspective, it’s going to be a lot of action. That’s the key.”