INDIANAPOLIS – Nearly 11 months ago, the Verizon IndyCar Series announced the return to Road America. Last August, the series announced that they’d be returning to the historic 4.048-mile Wisconsin road course for the first time in almost a decade.
Now, that nine year long wait is finally over.
The drivers will hit the 14-turn Elkhart Lake facility on Friday morning for the first official practice session of the weekend. It will mark the first official lap times around the scenic track since Sebastien Bourdais won a Champ Car event there in 2007.
The open wheel history there dates back 34 years ago as Hector Rebqaue won the first Indy car race at Road America in 1982. Dario Franchitti holds the official track record with a lap of 1 minute, 39.866 seconds (145.924 mph) set in qualifying for the 2000 race.
“I have said several times that Road America is the one track in this country that needs to be added to the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule immediately,” said Juan Pablo Montoya of Team Penske via an IndyCar release last year. “Elkhart Lake is a racing town. The people there love what we do and they really supported the series when we ran there in the past. It is exciting to see the schedule fill out a bit for 2016. This has been a great year for our series and I am confident that the 2016 season will be as well.”
With last weeks race being rain shortened as well as delayed until August, this weekend’s Kohler Grand Prix of Road America will be the ninth race of the 2016 season.