In 2010, the “Month of May” at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was cut back significantly from two weekends of qualifying to just one, from more than two weeks of on-track activity to around 10 days. That opening in the schedule left room for the new event that is taking place this season on the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule: the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, the first-ever IndyCar event at the “Brickyard’s” road course. This inaugural three-day event at the track takes place Thursday through Saturday, May 8 through 10, and adds to the celebration that is May in Indianapolis.
In addition to the on-track activities, including practice on Thursday, qualifying on Friday and the race on Saturday, there will be two new fan events on Friday, May 9. Rev, a food and music event featuring honorary chairpersons Scott and Emma Dixon, begins at 7:30 p.m. ET at the track. The event benefits Indiana University Health Trauma Services; tickets are $200 per person.
Also that evening, the Indy Family Foundation’s Festival on Main presented by Firestone takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. ET. The free festival transforms Speedway, Indiana’s Main St. into a party featuring live music, food and beverage presentations, a custom car and bike show, a kids’ zone and more, leading up to the fireworks finale. Proceeds from the event benefit the Indy Family Foundation, a non-profit organization which aids people in the motorsports community who find themselves in financial need due to hardship caused by illness, injury or death; the event will take place rain or shine.
The schedule for the first weekend of competition at Indy features practice for the Verizon IndyCar Series, Indy Lights, USF2000 and Pro Mazda Series on Thursday; admission is free and gates open at 9 a.m. ET for 10 a.m. ET practice sessions. On Friday, gates once again open at 9 a.m. ET, with an additional IndyCar practice session at 10 a.m. ET and qualifying for all four series commencing at 11 a.m. ET; the first races for USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights go green beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET, and the IMS Midway is open in the infield area throughout the day. Gates open at 7 a.m. ET on Saturday, with racing for the USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights beginning at 11 a.m. ET; the Grand Prix of Indianapolis hits the track at 3:50 p.m. ET. Tickets for Friday’s activities are $20, and Saturday race tickets range in price from $41 to $77.
After all of the inaugural festivities are in the books, the teams get right back at it on Sunday, May 11 with the opening practice session for the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500.