I might actually attend a race. Here is the AP story on the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, and below that a press release from Barber Motorsports Park. I’ve even thoughtfully included a slideshow of Danica Patrick photographs. (scroll down for that below the embedded AP story.)
INDY RACING LEAGUE RACE COMING TO BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK IN BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA
Birmingham, Ala. (July 27,2009) â€“ Barber Motorsports Park and the IndyCar Series have announced a three-year partnership today that will bring the much coveted series to Birmingham, AL beginning in April 2010.
The â€œIndy Grand Prix of Alabama,â€ will be contested the weekend of April 9-11, 2010 and will feature the most dominate names in the IndyCar Series including 3-time Indy 500 Winner Helio Castroneves, 2008 Series Champion and Indy 500 Winner Scott Dixon, 2007 Series Champion and Indy 500 Winner Dario Franchitti and the first female-winning driver Danica Patrick.
â€œThe Barber Motorsports Park is the finest road track in North America and deserves an event of this caliber and prestige. We were fortunate to have the assistance of both Governor Riley and Mayor Langford, both of whom understand the benefits the IndyCar Series bring to our city and state. This will be the only IndyCar Series race in the deep-south meaning it is a great tourist draw for the region. Plus, having the automotive world focus on our state enables us to highlight our growing automotive industry,â€ explained Gene Hallman, President of Zoom Motorsports, the Trackâ€™s exclusive promoter.
Representatives from Zoom Motorsports, Barber Motorsports Park and the Indy Racing League, the sanctioning body for the IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights, began discussing a partnership in 2007. Intense lobbying efforts by the State of Alabama, City of Birmingham, Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau and Zoom Motorsports resulted in Birminghamâ€™s addition to the 2010 season schedule.
â€œWe are thrilled to bring the speed and excitement of the IndyCar Series to Barber Motorsports Park, the greater Birmingham area and the state of Alabama,â€ said Terry Angstadt, president, commercial division for the Indy Racing League. â€œZoom Motorsports and Barber Motorsports Park have already been outstanding hosts of two previous IndyCar Series tests. The nearly two year pursuit to bring IndyCar Series racing to Birmingham only reinforces the professionalism and planning put into this by our newest scheduling partner.â€
The Barber Motorsports Park opened in 2003; it is the largest philanthropic project in the history of the state of Alabama with more than $70 million private funds contributed. The track features 17 turns and 80 feet of elevation changes over the 2.38 mile circuit. The IRL has hosted two practice sessions at the Barber Motorsports Park, the most recent in March 2009 â€“ an estimated 20,000 spectators attended the test session.
Tickets to the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will be available in September 2009; daily capacity at the track will be limited to 30,000 individuals to enable all spectators the opportunity to experience the race up close. Individuals interested in purchasing tickets can pre-register for them by visiting www.barbermotorsports.com; pre-registration will be available for both grand-stand and general admission seating.
Sponsorship packages are now available for companies large and small. Each package will be customized to meet the specific companyâ€™s need and may include on-site exposure, hospitality tickets, VIP parking and more.