INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the newest addition to the Red Bull Air Race World Championship schedule.
The October event will bring IMS' legacy as a center for aviation innovation full circle.
"Orville and Wilbur Wright were some of the first pilots to take to the skies above the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the first licensed aviation competition in United States history," said J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president. He added that the display of competition and innovation will honor the legacies of IMS founder Carl Fisher, the Wright brothers and their fellow aviation pioneers.
The Red Bull Air Race World Championships is considered by many to be the ultimate motorsports competition in the sky and takes place with eight races across four continents. The objective is to navigate an aerial racetrack featuring air-filled pylons in the fastest possible time while incurring as few penalties as possible.
The race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be the seventh race of the season, in between stops at Lausitzring, Germany, and Las Vegas, Nev. It will award 12 world championship points to the winner.
Each Red Bull Air Race consists of the following flying sessions: Training, Qualifying, Round of 14, Round of 8 and Final 4. In all sessions, only one pilot races in the track at a time. Training at IMS will take place on Sept. 29-30, followed by a single day dedicated to two qualifying competitions on Oct 1. Race Day on Oct. 2 will consist of Round of 14, Round of 8 and Final 4 competitions. Competitors regularly reach speeds of nearly 230 mph.
The air race will be a new chapter in the facility's aviation legacy. The first race held at IMS was also the first national balloon race, in 1909, the same year the world's first air race took place in Reims, France. In 1910, IMS hosted the nation's first licensed aviation meet, with pilot Walter Brookins breaking the world altitude record. The Speedway also served as a military aviation and refueling depot during World War I.
"Aviation has always been an influential and fascinating piece of our track's history," said Donald Davidson, IMS historian.
More information about the event can be found at IMS.com. Tickets are on sale now with pricing options ranging from $25-$85 for single-day passes.
For more information on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the upcoming 2016 season and the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, go to IMS.com.