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Top Moments of 2019 - #10: Bikes, Sports Cars To Return in 2020

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a series of 10 vignettes in which IMS Senior Communications Manager Paul Kelly picks his top 10 moments of 2019 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the world’s most famous speedway, known in every corner of the globe as the most magic stretch of 2.5 miles of asphalt on Earth.

IMS has made its name as the home of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” In fact, with a few exceptions in the mid-1910s, the “500” was the only race that took place each year at the Racing Capital of the World.

Much like The Masters at Augusta National, IMS opened its huge window to the world for just one event, one month, from 1911 until 1994, when the Brickyard 400 NASCAR Cup Series race was added to the annual schedule.

Some purists worried about opening IMS to anything but Indy cars for the first time in 83 years, but no one can deny that the addition of NASCAR, Formula One from 2000-07, MotoGP motorcycles from 2008-15, GRAND-AM/IMSA sports cars from 2012-14 and Red Bull Air Race airplanes from 2016-18 added colorful threads to the rich tapestry of competition at Indy.

Fans of motorcycle racing and sports cars often wondered out loud – either through email, social media or in person – whether their favorite machines would return to the IMS road course, which includes part of the world-famous 2.5-mile oval.

Their wait is over. Both will be back in 2020!

On July 26, it was announced that IMS will host the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli sports car championship Oct. 1-4, 2020, in conjunction with its North American series, GT World Challenge America, in the Indianapolis 8 Hour.

About six weeks later, on Sept. 12, it was announced motorcycle road racing will return after a five-year absence as the MotoAmerica Series will compete Aug. 21-23, 2020.

The Indianapolis 8 Hour will combine the two series for the first time in an epic endurance classic on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course at the Racing Capital of the World. The best International GT teams will battle GT World Challenge America teams to enhance the exciting #IntGTC schedule organized by SRO Motorsports Group that also features the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour (Australia), Total 24 Hours of Spa (Belgium), Suzuka 10 Hours (Japan) and Kyalami 9 Hour (South Africa).

The world’s only global GT3 championship – the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli – celebrates its fifth season in 2020 racing on five continents. The series’ purpose couldn’t be simpler: reward the manufacturer and drivers who achieve the best collective results in the world’s greatest endurance events.

Both series feature race-bred GT3-specification supercars. Eleven manufacturers – Acura, Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Mercedes-AMG, Nissan and Porsche – currently compete across the two championships.

MotoAmerica last raced at the Brickyard as a support event of the MotoGP World Championship in August 2015, the last time motorcycles have competed on the IMS road course. MotoAmerica will bring motorcycle racing back to IMS in 2020 with all five of its classes showcased.

The MotoAmerica event at IMS also will take place on the same weekend as the popular Motorcycles on Meridian festival Saturday evening, Aug. 22 in downtown Indianapolis.

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