INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Aug. 1, 2003 -- Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Formula One Management (FOM) officials have agreed to a change on the 2004 FIA Formula One World Championship schedule that will move the United States Grand Prix from its ...
INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Aug. 1, 2003 -- Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Formula One Management (FOM) officials have agreed to a change on the 2004 FIA Formula One World Championship schedule that will move the United States Grand Prix from its traditional September date to Sunday, June 20 next year.
The change is subject to the approval of the National Sporting Authority, the Automobile Competition Committee for the United States (ACCUS), the FIA Formula One Commission and the FIA World Motor Sport Council.
Though the fourth running of the United States Grand Prix is two months away, Speedway officials wanted to make the 2004 date change official due to the event's significant impact.
"This is exciting news for race fans, for IMS and for the city of Indianapolis," said Tony George, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "This new summer date will be good for travelers, both U.S. and international. If the FIA keeps its other traditional dates, this will set up a North American swing for F1."
The FIA and FOM have released a 2004 schedule with only dates. Locations of the other events have not been confirmed. In June 2003, the Canadian Grand Prix was June 15, and it traditionally follows the Monaco Grand Prix by two weeks.
The city of Indianapolis and IMS will now play host to three of the largest sporting events in the world in less than three months.
"Next summer will be extremely exciting as Indianapolis becomes the worldwide center of attention three times in three months," Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson said. "This new timing will bring a fresh new look to Indianapolis, and we look forward to making next year's United States Grand Prix a continuing success."
Speedway officials admit that changing the facility from an oval circuit to a road course and then back to an oval will present challenges, but they have equal concern for city leaders preparing for the new date.
"It was important for the Speedway to announce this date change as soon as it became official," George said. "The United States Grand Prix is an international sporting event that not only has a prominent place on the world motorsports calendar, it is major event here in the state of Indiana. This change could impact several events regionally, so we wanted to make it official immediately."
Other city leaders see the benefit of the new date and expect a June United States Grand Prix to augment the Indianapolis summer calendar of events.
"Welcoming the Grand Prix into our summer lineup presents many exciting opportunities for visitors," said Bob Bedell, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association. "The hospitality community appreciates the continued commitment to our city by both the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Formula One."
Officials believe the shift to the June date will also increase the visibility of the United States Grand Prix and Formula One in America because the event will not compete for media coverage with the National Football League or American college football.
Tickets for the Sept. 28, 2003, United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis are on sale. Tickets can be purchased online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com or by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area. Parking and camping information also can be obtained through the ticket office and online.
A ticket and pricing plan for the 2004 United States Grand Prix will be announced at a later date.